ARBITRATION: MANDATORY NONBINDING ARBITRATION: MANDATORY NONBINDING ARBITRATION WAS NOT INVALID BECAUSE ORDER OF REFERRAL WAS NOT SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO MANDATORY FORM ORDER ADOPTED IN CIRCUIT; JUDGMENT: RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT: LAWYER’S IGNORANCE OF DEADLINE FOR REQUESTING TRIAL DE NOVO DID NOT CONSTITUTE EXCUSABLE NEGLECT; APPEALS: INVITED ERROR: PLAINTIFF INVITED ERROR BY FAILING TO OBJECT TO AGREED ORDER SCHEDULING NONBINDING ARBITRATION

Alexander v. Quail Pointe II Condominium, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D600 (Fla. 5th DCA March 6, 2015)

A plaintiff, who failed to make a timely request for trial de novo after mandatory nonbinding arbitration, was bound by the result even though the order of referral to arbitration was not substantially similar to the form order required in the circuit. The plaintiff was not entitled to relief from judgment because his lawyer’s ignorance of the deadline for requesting trial de novo did not constitute excusable neglect. In addition, the plaintiff invited any error by failing to object to the agreed order scheduling nonbinding arbitration.

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