Airbnb v. Doe: The Florida Supreme Court Takes on Arbitrability in Florida

Updated: Apr 1

September 29, 1:00-2:15pm EST

UPDATED: March 31, 2022

The Florida Supreme Court has accepted the case Airbnb, Inc. v. Doe to decide the question of whether the incorporation of arbitration rules which provide that the arbitrator will decide questions of his or her own jurisdiction is sufficient to divest the courts of this power. Although most courts that have addressed this issue have concluded that the incorporation of such rules is sufficient, the issue has become the subject of considerable national debate. The Miami International Arbitration Society recently submitted an amicus brief [link below] on this issue before the Florida Supreme Court.

This CLE program will include a mock oral argument of this potentially pivotal case, in which members of the team who acted as counsel for MIAS in the amicus brief will argue for each side and field questions from what is expected to be a “hot bench.” The moot will be followed by a discussion among the participants.


· Welcome and Opening Remarks on Behalf of MIAS

· Introduction

· Petitioner Oral Argument

· Respondent Oral Argument

· Comments and Discussion from the “Bench”

Read the Brief

The Florida Supreme Court has set the case for oral argument:

November 3, 2021

Read the Opinion

March 31, 2022


Speaker Bios

Edward M. Mullins

Ed Mullins is a partner in the Miami office of Reed Smith who focuses his trial, arbitration, and appellate commercial litigation practice on international commercial litigation, international commercial arbitration and investor-state arbitration, and complex commercial litigation. He brings to this practice broad experience as a commercial litigator, having handled an array of commercial disputes over the years, including contract, business tort, media, intellectual property, shareholder, and class action disputes. He also serves as arbitrator and mediator, and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Commercial Arbitrators and is a member of the commercial panel of arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association. He has served as arbitration counsel and trial counsel in international and trial disputes throughout the country. Ed has served as appellate counsel, having appeared in almost 100 appeals and appellate proceedings in federal and state courts including the Florida Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court.

Carlos F. Concepción

Carlos Concepción is Chair of the International Arbitration Practice Group at Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. His practice concentrates on international litigation and arbitration involving financial services, construction disputes involving audit and defect claims, and transnational disputes involving parties and witnesses from multiple jurisdictions. He has substantial trial experience with multilingual and multicultural teams that provide a strategic advantage in dealing with parties and evidence from different legal systems, especially in South America, Brazil, and the Caribbean. Carlos also has extensive experience in international corporate investigations and special litigation committees.

He has worked with all the leading arbitration organizations and has experience under the UNCITRAL Rules and the International Bar Association Rules. Carlos is a member of numerous organizations, including the International Chamber of Commerce, Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), which is the highest level of arbitration training and experience recognized by that institution.

William K. Hill

A seasoned business advocate, litigator and trial lawyer with more than three decades of experience, William Hill is a shareholder at Gunster who continuously strives to resolve complex disputes in and out of court throughout the country. William is the first and only lawyer to be Florida Bar Board Certified in both Business Litigation and International Litigation & Arbitration. He represents businesses in a variety of industries such as banking and financial services, behavioral health and health care, technology, real estate, aviation, manufacturing, retail and government. William has also advised large public companies.

William represents clients in complex cases, including class actions and international arbitrations. His experience ranges from commercial disputes of all kinds to intellectual property, real estate, securities, product liability and RICO cases. He also advises clients on a national scale in the area of non-compete enforcement and defense.

George A. Bermann

The director of the Center for International Commercial & Investment Arbitration at Columbia Law School, George A. Bermann is a world-renowned authority on comparative law, EU law, international trade contracts, WTO dispute resolution, and transnational litigation and arbitration. For more than four decades, he has been an active international arbitrator in commercial and investment disputes in all sectors, including general commercial contract, construction, intellectual property, energy, oil and gas, competition law, insurance, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, distributorship and franchising, transportation, and employment. He also serves regularly as an expert witness before international arbitral tribunals as well as before courts in arbitral-related cases.

Bermann was the chief reporter for the American Law Institute (ALI) for its Restatement of the Law, The U.S. Law of International Commercial and Investor-State Arbitration, which was the first ALI Restatement on this area of the law. Bermann is also co-author of the UNCITRAL Guide to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, chair of the Global Advisory Board of the New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC), co-editor in chief of the American Review of International Arbitration, and founding member of the governing body of the ICC Court of Arbitration and a member of its standing committee.

Harout J. Samra

Harout J. Samra is a Board Certified Specialist in International Law with the law firm of DLA Piper LLP. He concentrates his practice on international dispute resolution and arbitration matters, and has represented clients from both the public and private sectors, including foreign governments, government officials, and clients from a variety of industries. Harout has experience in international arbitrations administered under the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), JAMS, Bogota Chamber of Commerce (CCB), Madrid Court of Arbitration, China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration rules. Harout frequently writes and lectures on arbitration and litigation topics.

Luis O'Naghten