by Amy Martinez
Updated 5 months ago
Last summer, a special panel of judges met in Miami to hear claims by several construction companies that the Panama Canal Authority, which runs the canal, owes them $1.6 billion. The authority owes the money, the firms say, to cover cost overruns for work they did on the project to widen the canal.
The hearings were conducted behind closed doors, and the judges weren’t part of a regular court — they were arbitrators, chosen by both sides to settle the case out of court. Their decision will be binding.
The case, aside from its financial implications, is significant for other reasons: It’s an example of how widespread arbitration has become as a way to settle complex business disputes. More important for Florida, the fact that the hearings were held in Miami put an exclamation point on efforts to establish the city as a center for international arbitration — on a par with other major U.S. trade centers.
ALSO IN THIS ARTICLE: Biggest law firms in Florida; Law schools in Florida.
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