Scott J. Silverman is a Miami-based international arbitrator and mediator, working worldwide to successfully resolve disputes. Mr. Silverman has been an attorney since 1981. Prior to commencing his judicial career, he served both in the public sector as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma and also in the private sector as a practicing lawyer. At the age of 33, he joined the judiciary in 1991 as one of Florida’s youngest judges.
From 1991 to 2012, Mr. Silverman served as a circuit court and county judge in Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit. After nearly 22 years of distinguished judicial service, some of which was spent on Florida’s First and Fourth District Courts of Appeal by designation, he joined JAMS as a full time arbitrator and mediator.
Mr. Silverman’s experiences benefit those who appear before him. He runs arbitration proceedings efficiently by keeping the attorneys and parties focused on the issues at hand. At times, he has served as the sole presiding arbitrator and at other times the chair or member of a tripartite arbitration panel. He has presided over JAMS, ICC, ICDR, and ad hoc arbitrations. He has arbitrated large commercial and maritime disputes with varied seats of arbitration, including Colombia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Peru, United Kingdom, and the United States. Moreover, he is an author and lecturer on international arbitrations.
Additionally, Mr. Silverman serves as a mediator in international disputes. In the past, parties to those mediations have included citizens and/or businesses from Bermuda, Canada, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Germany, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Liberia, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, United Kingdom, and Venezuela. He has mediated a variety of international commercial, insurance, maritime, personal injury, professional and reinsurance disputes.
Notably, the Daily Business Review’s survey ranked Mr. Silverman as the number one individual mediator in its 2014 and 2013 South Florida surveys. This distinction placed him in the Review’s Hall of Fame – to date, the only individual to have achieved that honor. Additionally, in 2013 the Miami Herald wrote, “Scott Silverman, a former circuit court judge, is a big player in the growing use of arbitration in this city and one of the founding fathers of the Miami office of JAMS, which oversees arbitration cases.”
Representative International Mediations
- Successfully mediated a dispute between a computer chip manufacturer and the Latin-American arm of the hardware company. The dispute expanded to address pending issues before the Competition Commission in India.
- Successfully mediated a dispute between a Florida governmental entity and a Netherlands Antilles corporation regarding the foreclosure of a residential lien due to alleged unpaid code enforcement fines.
- Successfully mediated a dispute pending in the United States District Court between United States’ citizens, and parties from Venezuela and Spain. The dispute involved whether the defendants had unduly influenced an individual with regards to the disposition of her property before her demise.
- Successfully mediated a federal bankruptcy matter. The dispute involved a Judicial Administrator from Brazil and a Florida bank. The bankruptcy court approved the parties’ $8 million settlement.
- Successfully mediated a personal injury dispute between an American citizen and a defendant corporation, a subsidiary of a German medical supply company.
- Successfully mediated a contractual dispute between a global shipping company based in Taiwan and an officer of its Latin American branch. The defendant allegedly violated an agreement that applied to the winding down of the plaintiff’s international business.
- Successfully mediated a pre-suit dispute between an American-based bank and a Colombian national regarding the alleged embezzlement of a significant amount of money by the bank’s employee.
- Successfully mediated a dispute between an American insurance company and the Honduran relatives of a decedent who were listed as beneficiaries on a life insurance policy.
- Successfully mediated a domestic dispute between a Hong Kong resident and a Florida resident. The dispute involved allegations of breach of contract, fraud, promissory estoppel, replevin, assault and battery, emotional distress, conversion, and civil conspiracy.
- Successfully mediated a maritime dispute between an American citizen and a Bermudan corporation. The plaintiff allegedly sustained personal injuries after she slipped and fell aboard the defendant’s ship.
- Successfully mediated a dispute between garnishers (Cuban nationals) and the garnishee (an American company) arising from a judgment obtained against a company from Curacao.
- Successfully mediated a licensing (intellectual property) dispute between a Canadian company and two U.S. companies. The dispute involved the status of a catalog of comic books published throughout the mid-part of the twentieth century.
- Successfully mediated a personal injury dispute between an American citizen and a company that promoted a resort business in Mexico over an alleged assault that took place at the resort.
- Mediated a dispute between a well-known insurance syndicate and an American corporation over the loss of goods in a third country in transport from Florida to Paraguay.
Representative International Arbitrations
- Sole presiding arbitrator in a maritime dispute with a Nicaraguan claimant and Bahamian Respondent, applying general United States maritime law, and with the seat of arbitration in Nicaragua. The 1958 New York Convention applied.
- Sole presiding arbitrator in a commercial dispute. The claimant was a Colombian corporation and the respondent was a foreign corporation with its principal place of business in the United States. The arbitration was initially to be conducted under UNCITRAL rules, but later modified their agreement to apply JAMS rules.
- Member of a tripartite commercial arbitration seated in The United Kingdom in which the law of the European Union governed.
- Sole presiding arbitrator in a maritime dispute with a United States citizen and a Bermudan cooperation, with the seat of arbitration in the United States. The claimant alleged, inter alia, violations of the Jones Act and unseaworthiness. The tribunal applied general United Sates maritime law.
- Sole presiding arbitrator in a maritime arbitration with the seat of arbitration in Jamaica. The claimant was Jamaican and the respondent was a Bahamian company. The tribunal applied general United States maritime law.
- Presided as the chair of a tripartite arbitration panel. The seat of arbitration was in Jamaica and the tribunal applied general United States maritime law. The respondent was a Bahamian corporation.
- Sole presiding arbitrator in a maritime arbitration in which the seat of arbitration was in the United Kingdom. The claimant was a United Kingdom citizen and the respondent was a Bahamian corporation. The tribunal applied general United States maritime law.
Hon. Scott Silverman (Ret.) was recognized as a National Mediator in the 2016 and 2017 editions of Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Mr. Silverman was described as having “very good business sense” and "is able to come up with creative solutions that people normally don't think about. He is very good at identifying intangibles that people can use in negotiations and mediation." Judge Silverman was also listed as a noted practitioner in International Arbitration.
- Top Mediator for 2017 (Legal Luminary), Dade County Bar Association, Miami, Florida
- “Lawyer of the Year” 2017 in Miami for mediation, The Best Lawyers in America
- Rated by Chambers and Partners, London, in its 2017 USA Guide for Mediation (1 of 26 nationwide) and as an International Arbitrator (1 of 30 nationwide)
- Recognized as an ADR Champion by the National Law Journal & Legal Times, 2017
- Recognized by Best Lawyers as one of the Best Lawyers in America for ADR, 2015-2022
- Rated the #1 "Alternative Dispute Individual Mediator" in The Daily Business Review's "Best of" survey four years in a row, 2012-2015
- Manny Crespo Award, Miami-Dade Justice Association, 2012
- Justice Award, League of Prosecutors, 2011
- David C. Brotemarkle Award, Florida Historical Society, 2011
- Pro Bono Service Award, Put Something Back, 2005, 2011
- Miami Beach Senior High School, Hall of Fame, 2010
- Public Service Award, Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Attorneys’ Division, 2010
- First recipient of the Judge Scott J. Silverman Award in Judicial History and Preservation, Eleventh Judicial Circuit Historical Society, 2007
- Meritorious Public Service Award for service on the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee from 1999 to 2005, presented by The Florida Bar, 2005
- Distinguished Community Service Award, Dade Heritage Trust, 2004
- Presidential Merit Citation, Florida Historical Confederation, 2003
- Nominated by the Judicial Nominating Commission for service on Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal, 2002
- Herbert Harley Award (premiere state honor), American Judicature Society, 2000
- Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS
- Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Founder, member, board of trustees, Eleventh Judicial Circuit Historical Society, 2006-present
- Board of Trustees, Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, 2009-present
- Admiralty Law Committee, Florida Bar, 2013-2014
- Rules of Judicial Administration, Florida Bar 2013-2015
- Court Historian, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, 2004-2012
- Led the effort to restore courtroom 6-1 of the Dade County Courthouse, 2003-2008
- Led the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in its centennial celebration, 2011
- Member, Miami International Arbitration Society, 2014
- Board of Trustees, History Miami (f/k/a Historical Museum of Southern Florida), 2004-2010, 2012-present
- Member, Rules of Judicial Administration, Florida Bar, 1997-2005; 2012-present
- Member, Florida Supreme Court Technology Commission, 1996-2003
- Trial Court Technology Subcommittee, 2000-2003
- Drug Court Subcommittee, 2001-2003
- Chair, 2001-2003
- Faculty, Florida New Judges College, 2000
- Member, The Florida Bar, 1983-present
- Member, Oklahoma Bar Association, 1983-present
- Member, Cuban American Bar Association, 1999-present
Selected Publications and Writings
- Author, "Birth of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit," Tequesta, The Journal of History, Miami, 2012: 32-53
- Author, "Mediation Well on its way to Becoming the New Trial," Daily Business Review, Miami, May 11, 2012: 1A and 8A
- Author, “Time for Buildings to Reflect Vibrant Justice System,” The Miami Herald, December 29, 2011
- Author, “A South Florida Legal Brief,” The Green Bag - An Entertaining Journal of Law, 14 Green Bag 2d 467, 2011
- Author, “The 1904 Dade County Courthouse,” Eleventh Judicial Circuit Historical Society, Fall 2007
- Co-Author, “Living with the Death Penalty,” Judicature, March 2006
- Co-Author, “Judge Henry Fulton Atkinson – One of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Greatest Judges,” South Florida History, 2006
- Author “Separate, but Equal’ by Design,” The Miami Herald, June 16, 2005
Selected Lectures and Presentations
- Panelist, “Judicial Ethics and the Media,” The Center for Ethics, St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami, Florida, September 30, 2016
- Panelist, “Navigating a Career in Maritime Law,” University of Miami School of Law, Miami, Florida, March 15, 2016
- Panelist, “World-Leading International Arbitration Institutions,” International Litigation, Arbitration & Transactions (ILAT) Conference, The Florida Bar, Miami, Florida, February 26, 2016
- Panelist, “Maritime and Cruieship Arbitration: Making Waves,” 4th Annual Arbitration and Investment Summit - Caribbean, Latin America and Other Emerging Markets, Nassau, Bahamas, January 22, 2016
- Lecturer, "ADR Issues for Circuit Court Judges: What you can't see may help you," Conference of Circuit Court Judges of Florida, Tampa, Florida, August 5, 2015
- Panelist, “Experts in the Sunshine State: Universal Issues in the Context of Resort, Tourism, and Cruise Line Cases,” American Bar Association, Boca Raton, Florida, May 16, 2014
- Lecturer, “Being a Better Advocate in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit,” University of Miami School of Law, November 2011
- Facilitator, “Maritime Law-A Primer, or How to be the Captain of Your Own Ship While Avoiding Motion Sickness,” Florida Advanced College of Judicial Studies, 2010
- Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida, 1991-2012
- Judge, Circuit Court (Civil, Criminal, and Family Divisions), 1999-2012
- Judge, Miami-Dade County Court (Civil and Criminal), 1991-1999
- Associate Administrative Judge for Traffic Related Matters, 1996-1999
- Judge, Appellate Division of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, 1999-2012
- Associate Judge, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal, by designation, Tallahassee, Florida, 2006
- Associate Judge, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal, by designation, West Palm Beach, Florida, 2001 and 2004
- Florida Supreme Court appointed referee, 1993, 1996, 2011
- Presided over the Miami-Dade County Grand Jury, 2009
- Private Practice, Law offices of Scott J. Silverman, 1985-1991
- Private Practice, Marlow, Connell, Smith, DeMahy, and Valerius, 1983-1985
- Law Clerk, Fredericka G. Smith, Circuit Court Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, 1982-1983
- Assistant Attorney General, State of Oklahoma, 1981-1982
- Law Clerk, Getty Refining and Marketing Company, 1980-1981
- J.D., University of Tulsa College of Law, 1981
- Concentration, Energy law
- Phi Delta Phi
- B.B.A., University of Miami, 1978
- Magna Cum Laude graduate, finance major and economics minor
- Phi Kappa Phi National Collegiate Academic Honor Society (the nation’s oldest and most selective for all academic disciplines)
- Beta Gamma Sigma (Business Honor Society)
- Omicron Delta Epsilon (International Economic Honor Society)
- Alpha Lambda Delta (Freshman Honor Society)
- President’s Honor Roll
- Dean’s List
- “Scott Silverman is an outstanding mediator. He is caring, professional, accommodating, and highly knowledgeable. His extensive experience as a former trial judge provides a very unique insight into the benefits of settlement thereby ensuring that the parties reach a mutually acceptable resolution.”
- “Judge Scott Silverman understands people. He knows how to tap into the areas where the parties and their lawyers need help. He understands the legal issues and always does a great job on the cases submitted to him for mediation. He is the paradigm of the mediation profession.”
- “[The deal had] been many years in the making, but I think it was a good and fair result for all sides. [Scott Silverman’s] assistance and calm demeanor was a tremendous help in getting this deal over the line. We were lucky [he was] available for the mediation and hope to use [his] services in the future…”
- “Though I am now in the private sector, my role as a problem solver continues. I actively facilitate and promote discussions between the parties to a dispute. I work towards developing options and alternatives that enable them to craft a resolution to their disagreement. My goal is to achieve an end to the dispute so the parties can move forward with their lives.”
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