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Brett Rivkind, Speaker in Congress and Safety Advocate, Representing Passengers and Crew Worldwide Who Have Been Injured or Victimized on Any Type of Vessel at Sea, Including:
  • Cruise Ships
  • Cargo Ships
  • Recreational Boats
  • Jet Skis
  • Yachts
  • Ferries
  • Sailboats
  • Fishing Boats
  • Tugboats and Barges
and more
Winner of the Verdicts Hall of Fame Award: $6.3 Million Verdict Dolcin v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD Learn More

At Congress

Brett Rivkind, Lead Attorney of Rivkind & Margulies, P.A., Testified Before Congress

Thank You LetterProminent Miami cruise ship accident attorney Brett Rivkind was the only plaintiff’s maritime attorney asked to testify before the United States Congress on cruise ship safety and security. The topics he was asked to cover dealt with international maritime security, law enforcement, passenger security, and incident investigation on cruises. The Congressional Hearings were prompted in part by publicity surrounding the disappearance of George Smith IV on his Royal Caribbean honeymoon cruise. Brett Rivkind was hired by the Smith family to pursue this case against the cruise line. The case received lots of attention as many wanted explanations as to how a man could disappear off a cruise ship during his honeymoon, and why the current law was not protecting cruise ship passengers.

Attorney Brett Rivkind received a thank you letter for testifying before Congress regarding cruise ship safety and security.

What Was Discussed at the Congressional Hearings?

Brett Rivkind’s Statement to CongressAt the Congressional Hearings, the disappearance of George Smith during his honeymoon cruise was a main topic of discussion. Mr. Rivkind, speaking on behalf of the Smith family, was able to share his years of experience handling maritime cases involving incidents on cruise ships, including sexual assaults, disappearances, and other types of accidents which have led to serious injuries and even deaths. The disappearance of Merrian Carver, a 40-year-old woman on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska, was also discussed. Kendall Carver, Merrian’s father, spoke on her behalf.

Brett Rivkind was questioned about safety and security issues on board the cruise ships and what particular laws govern the cruise ship companies. Surprisingly, Congress had very little knowledge as to how the cruise industry was being regulated, and was not aware that there were no mandatory reporting requirements for the cruise lines when a crime does occur aboard a ship. Congress was shocked to hear there was not a system in place.

These hearings put the subject of cruise ship safety and security on the lawmaker’s minds and resulted in future hearings on the subject. This eventually led to the passage of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010, signed into law by President Obama.

What Is the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act?

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 addressed this problem of safety and security on cruises, and for the first time implemented mandatory reporting requirement for cruise ship. The purpose was to raise public awareness of these crimes as well as provide a warning to future cruisers. The act also required any crimes and complaints of crimes to be kept recorded and available upon request.

Positive Changes in the Cruise Industry

As a result of our firm’s efforts in bringing awareness to the public the security and safety issues that are present in the cruise ship industry, we believe the cruise ship industry has started to positively act to address many of the safety and security issues. Although falling short of all that was required to address cruise ship safety, the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 was a positive movement towards increased safety legislation applicable to the cruise ship industry.

International Cruise Victims Association

The organization International Cruise Victims Association along with its President, Kendall Carver, should be applauded for their efforts in pursuing the passage of this safety legislation. We are proud to also see our good friend, Kendall Carver, continue in his relentless efforts to push for better safety laws and regulations, as his organization International Cruise Victims has grown and spread worldwide. Our firm is proud to have helped Kendall Carver when he initially formed this organization, and we are so pleased to see how it has grown and what the organization has been able to accomplish.

Maritime Blog Cruise Brett Rivkind is dedicated to bringing boaters and cruisers the latest industry news and informative articles. In his blog, Mr. Rivkind shares his vast knowledge and experience in the maritime legal field, reporting on cruise ship and boating law issues.Learn More
8 THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE INJURED OR
HARMED ON A CRUISE SHIP
Cruise
  1. The rules of the international maritime organization apply
  2. Assumption of the risk forms
  3. Be careful what you say
  4. Be careful what you write
  5. Be aware
  6. Be investigators
  7. Report immediately
  8. Month deadline so contact a maritime lawyer ASAP
Learn More

A Super Lawyer, a Lawyer of Distinction, a Top Attorney in Florida, and a Best Lawyer in America: Brett Rivkind has been recognized as each of these! However, he prides himself most as being known as a lawyer who cares and makes a difference in his clients' lives!

Client Reviews
Mr. Rivkind and his team are outstanding and clearly some of the best in the field of maritime law, based on our experience. I appreciate their office for being approachable, extremely professional and pushing relentlessly for the success of my case. Can't thank them enough. Highly recommended!
★★★★★
This is the best maritime law firm in my opinion. If you want the best lawyer working on your case, this is the place. This firm is a good professional team with outstanding leadership and talented professionals. Once your case has been settled, you'll likely still continue to hear from Mr. Rivkind. His genuine warmth and kindness makes it near impossible not to become his friend. Thank you Brett for changing my family's life and mine. Willy Dolcin
★★★★★
Mr. Rivkind is highly talented and a very good lawyer. I believe Mr. Rivkind is absolutely the best maritime attorney in the United States. He fought for my rights, and never gave up. He is truly an example to all. The words don't exist to express my gratitude for having him represent me in the battle of my life. Mr. Rivkind you are eternally loved by your client. Virginia Walton
★★★★★
I was a former client of Mr. Rivkind, and I can honestly say that he had a tremendous impact on my life, a very positive one! Mr. Rivkind has exceptionally broad knowledge and experience with maritime law, and he's a great guy who is dedicated to helping people. Always focused, determined, and dedicated to achieving the best results for his clients. Vonda Lewis
★★★★★
I've nothing but love for Rivkind & Margulies, P.A.. Mr. Brett Rivkind has been there for me more than once and gotten me through some rough times. He gave me a new start, a new life. Mr. Rivkind fought for my medical treatment, for my well-being and to make sure I was given what was owed to me. No one like the best maritime lawyer in the world. Roger Mitchell Hilton
★★★★★
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