A former Chief Judge of Florida's Third District Court of Appeal and member of the court for 22 years, Gerald Cope is the chair of Akerman's Appellate Practice. He represents clients in appellate litigation at the state and federal levels. Ranked by Chambers USA, peers say “He’s superb and doing great work.” He is a founding member of Akerman Bench, an innovative practice including former appellate and trial court judges providing the perspective of both sides of the bench. He conducts practice oral arguments for attorneys appearing in state and federal appellate courts, serves as a consultant on appeals, and provides support to trial counsel.
Mr. Cope serves as an arbitrator in cases administered by AAA and its international division, ICDR, where he has been appointed 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 Appeal, 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 and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section. Mr. Cope also serves as a special master and as a mediator.