Gerald Cope is the co-chair of Akerman's Appellate Practice. He is the former Chief Judge of Florida's Third District Court of Appeals and was a member of the court for 22 years. His practice focus includes state and federal appeals, representing clients in all phases of appellate litigation, as well as acting as arbitrator. He also conducts practice oral arguments for attorneys appearing in state and federal appellate courts, and serves as a consultant on appeals. Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeals, Mr. Cope practiced commercial litigation in Florida and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels.
Mr. Cope serves as an arbitrator, and has been appointed in cases administered by AAA and its international division, ICDR, in commercial and maritime matters. He was recognized by the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar for his contributions toward the 2013 enactment of the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act in Florida. As a member of the Court of Appeals, he participated in approximately 60 appeals involving arbitrability of disputes, interpretation of arbitration clauses, proceedings to enforce or vacate awards, and comparable proceedings involving appraisal clauses in insurance contracts. He has served as an adjunct professor teaching Federal and Florida arbitration at the University of Miami School of Law. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Florida Bar's International Law Section. Mr. Cope also serves as a special master and as a mediator.