Under Florida law, an attorney-in-fact's authority is limited solely to
actions "specifically enumerated” in the durable power of attorney (Florida
Statutes Section 709.08(7)(a)). Florida attorneys often face the question of
how specific does the enumerated grant of authority in the durable Power Of
Attorney have to be?
As applied to arbitration agreements, some courts require a specific reference to the arbitration agreement in the durable Power of Attorney in Florida. However, other courts find that a general grant of authority in the durable Power of Attorney in Florida is sufficient. Most appellate courts will find a way to enforce arbitration agreements whenever they can as they apply to a grant of Power Of Attorney in Florida. For example, the 1st DCA Court reversed, basing its analysis on the less stringent standard applied in the 2d DCA's Jaylene opinion, that court found persuasive Jaylene, Inc. v. Moots, (Fla. 2d DCA) September 2008, in which the Second District Court of Appeal declined to follow its prior opinion in McKibbin, noting that the opinion in McKibbin does not set forth the language of the Power Of Attorney in Florida under review in that case and is not controlling here where the Power Of Attorney in Florida document unambiguously makes a broad, general grant of authority to the attorney-in-fact. In, Jaylene, the court reversed an order denying a motion to compel arbitration. The District Court noted that the trial court did not have the benefit of the opinion in Jaylene when it entered its order. However, they found the reasoning in that opinion persuasive, and ruled that issue is sufficiently similar to the Power Of Attorney Florida at issue in that case to warrant application of that reasoning to the case at issue. Ultimately the court reversed the order denying the motion to compel arbitration under the Power Of Attorney Florida document that was in issue in that case.
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