New International Litigation and Arbitration Certification Committee

On November 9, 2017, the Supreme Court of Florida created a new Board Certification in International Litigation and Arbitration through an amendment to the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.  This success followed years of work by the Section through a subcommittee led by Certification Subcommittee Chair Gary Davidson and former Section Chairs C. Ryan Reetz andEdward Mullins.

According to the newly promulgated rules contained in subchapter 6-31, the purpose of the standards adopted by the Court is to “identify those lawyers who have the special knowledge, skills, and proficiency, as well as the character, ethics, and reputation for professionalism, to be properly identified to the public as board certified in international litigation and arbitration.”

As detailed in the same rules, applicants for the new Board Certification must demonstrate a minimum period of practice, substantial involvement in the practice of international litigation and/or arbitration, a minimum number of matters, extensive continuing legal education, must be peer reviewed, and must successfully pass a certification exam.

The certification process will be administered by the Florida Bar with substantial assistance from the to-be-formed International Litigation and Arbitration Certification Committee.  This Certification Committee will serve a similar function as to other certification committees for the various board certifications.

Pursuant to Rule 6-31.2(c):

(c) International Litigation and Arbitration Certification Committee. The international litigation and arbitration certification committee will consist of 9 members. The international litigation and arbitration committee members will initially be appointed according to the criteria set forth in rule 6-3.2(a).

Rule 6-3.2(a) provides the following regarding initial Certification Committees:

(a) Initial Certification Committees. For each certification area approved by the Supreme Court of Florida, a 9-member committee, bearing the name of the area, shall be appointed by the president of The Florida Bar, with the advice and consent of the board of governors. Initial committee appointees shall be eminent attorneys in each field, shall be members in good standing of The Florida Bar, shall have been admitted to The Florida Bar no less than 10 years, and must meet such other requirements as may in the future be promulgated by the board of legal specialization and education. Initial committee appointees shall be certified in the applicable area of practice by reason of appointment to that area’s certification committee. The committee members shall hold office for 3 years and until their successors are appointed. The committee members shall be appointed to staggered terms of office, and the initial appointees shall serve as follows: 3 members shall serve until June 30 next following their appointment, 3 members shall serve until the second June 30 following their appointment, and 3 members shall serve until the third June 30 following their appointment.

The Florida Bar will advertise for applications in the latter half of December, and a formal application will be required, but the Florida Bar president will receive expressions of interest and advice and input from the International Law Section.  In light of the foregoing, the Florida Bar International Law Section is soliciting expressions of interest from qualified members of the Section interested in serving on the initial International Litigation and Arbitration Certification Committee.  Expressions of interest received from qualified members on or before 5:00 p.m. onFriday, December 8, 2017, will be forwarded to the president of the Florida Bar for consideration by him and the Florida Bar Board of Governors.  If you are interested in the foregoing, and meet the qualification requirements, please send your expression of interest and CV to International Law Section Chair Arnoldo B. Lacayo (alacayo@sequorlaw.com).  Late submissions will not be considered.

Please note that pursuant to new Rule 6-31.3(g) highly qualified applicants who have practiced in the area for 20 years will be able to apply for certification without taking an exam as long as they meet specified criteria.