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  • Writer's pictureMIAS

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

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

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

Luis O’Naghten is a partner based in Hughes Hubbard’s Miami office. Luis has more than 30 years of experience in international arbitration and commercial litigation, and has deep experience serving as both party counsel and arbitrator throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Annually ranked among the world’s leading international arbitration practitioners, he travels extensively throughout the world to present scholarly lectures to peers and corporate counsel. Luis’ practice focuses on international financial frauds, energy, construction, telecommunication, and corporate commercial disputes. He represents foreign sovereigns and parties adverse to foreign sovereigns, and provides advice to major international banks, United States and foreign multinational corporations, energy companies, and companies involved in maritime disputes. He represents parties in disputes before United States courts and before international arbitration panels (under ICC, AAA/ICDR, ICSID, and UNCITRAL rules) in a wide range of disputes.

Luis is a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration, the ICC Task Force for the Revision of the ICC Rules, Chair of the U.S. Council for International Business’ Florida Arbitration Sub-Committee, and a fellow in the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He regularly teaches courses in arbitration at the University of Miami School of Law and Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City and Guadalajara. He possesses native fluency in Spanish and handles arbitrations in both Spanish and English with equal agility.

Giovanni Angles

Giovanni is of counsel at Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P, where he focuses his practice on international arbitration and complex business litigation. He represents individuals, corporations and sovereign governments in international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations under major arbitration rules.

He has experience in all phases of litigation, from pre-suit investigations through final adjudication, including trial work. He has represented clients in a range of industries, including luxury consumer goods, hospitality, banking and financial services, food and beverage, and technology and telecommunications.

Steven Sukert

Steven Sukert is an associate in the Miami office of Gunster. He is skillful in all aspects of business litigation in state and federal court, including drafting dispositive motions, handling discovery, and arguing court hearings. He is experienced in trial court, and his case work includes lawsuits with trade secrets and intellectual property claims, consumer contract claims, and legal malpractice claims, as well as matters involving land use and environmental law.

Steven is active in the Miami International Arbitration Society, on behalf of which he co-authored an amicus brief in the Florida Supreme Court case Airbnb, Inc. v. Doe (Case No. SC20-1167). Moreover, he served on the Organizing Committee for the inaugural ABA International Arbitration Masterclass, which was attended by nearly one-hundred attorneys and fifty international arbitrators from around the globe, in 2021.

Steven returned to Miami after law school to clerk for the Honorable James Lawrence King in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Anabel Blanco

Anabel is an associate in the Miami office of Reed Smith whose practice focuses on litigation. At Reed Smith, she has worked primarily with the global commercial disputes group, providing integral case support on a range of cross-border matters.

Anabel has been active in the Miami International Arbitration Society (MIAS) since law school, where she was part of a team of students that assisted MIAS in researching and drafting an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case GE Energy Power Conversion France SAS v. Outokumpu Stainless, LLC (Case No. 18-1048). More recently, she co-authored an amicus curiae brief to the Florida Supreme Court in the case Airbnb, Inc. v. Doe (Case No. SC20-1167).

She is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, where she simultaneously completed her J.D. and LL.M. in International Arbitration. While in law school, Anabel was an Executive Editor for the University of Miami Law Review, as well as a member of the 27th Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot team. She also served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Adalberto Jordan at the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and to the Honorable Leslie B. Rothenberg at the Florida Third District Court of Appeal.

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This will be a great program well worth attending for all arbitration practitioners. The Docket link above provides links to the primary arguments and briefs for and against delegation of jurisdiction determinations to arbitrators by arbitration rule reference.

Harout filed an excellent brief for MIAS. It was answered by Professor Bermann, and specifically by the amicus brief Professors Szali, Downes and I filed.

This case has U. S. Supreme Court potential. So join MIAS and enjoy the arguments!!

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