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Brett A. Rivkind
Senior Partner

Brett Rivkind, Esq.


Brett Rivkind is a leading national renowned maritime personal injury and wrongful death attorney. He has been handling Maritime/Admiralty cases for over 25 years. After graduating from the University of Florida College of Law with honors, and being selected to the Florida Chapter of the Order of the Coif based on being in the top five percent of his graduating class, Brett Rivkind started his career at a large maritime firm, where he handled cases on the defense side. Within the first five years of handling hundreds of maritime and personal injury cases involving the cruise ship industry, Brett Rivkind decided he wanted to help the victims of accidents and crimes, and decided to represent only the victims in maritime and personal injury cases. Since leaving the defense side, Mr. Rivkind has only represented individuals or families who have been the victims of crimes and accidents onboard all types of boats and ships, focusing mainly on incidents occurring aboard passenger cruise ships. He has used his invaluable experience obtained while handling cases on the defense side to benefit his clients who have been victimized due to an accident or crime aboard a cruise ship.

Brett Rivkind has been a frequent lecturer on maritime topics, including an invited lecturer to the State of Florida Judges at their Annual Judicial College on the topic of Maritime Law. He testified before the United States Congress as a maritime expert, and authored a paper addressing questions posed to him by the United States Congress involving passenger safety and security aboard passenger cruise ships. He has handled many high profile cases, including representation of more than a two hundred families who lost loved ones in a fire aboard a cruise ship, a case where families lost their loved ones due to the disappearance of a passenger cruise ship during a hurricane, as well as representation of the parents of George Smith in the high profile case that received national and international attention when George Smith was lost overboard during his honeymoon while a passenger aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. He has been referred internationally as a “World’s Leading Maritime Lawyer.” He has appeared on the Larry King Live show on three different occasions. He has also appeared on numerous television shows, including, MSNBC, Good Morning America, The Today Show, 20/20, Court T.V., Nancy Grace, Scarborough, Rita Cosby Show, Montel Williams, The Early Show, Abrams Report, Geraldo at Large, Fox News, local news channels, and Prime Time. He is past President of the Florida Bar Admiralty Committee and a member of the Admiralty Committee of the Association of America for Justice.


  • American Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar Admiralty Committee
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • National College of Advocacy
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Florida Admiralty Trial Lawyers Association
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
  • Maritime Law Association
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America Admiralty Committee


  • The Florida Bar
  • United States District Court
  • Southern District of Florida
  • United States District Court
  • Middle District of Florida
  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Supreme Court of the State of Florida

Mr. Rivkind has handled all types of cases: personal injuries, wrongful deaths, sexual assaults, rapes, catastrophic injuries, involving both passengers and crewmembers. His cases have included all types of injuries including brain damage, stroke, heart attacks, herniated discs, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, factures, cancer, kidney failure, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator-cuff tears, broken hips, knee replacements, and psychological and psychiatric injuries. He has also been active in handling cases on appeal involving complex issues of Admiralty and Maritime Law. He is well respected by his peers, and other Admiralty and Maritime attorneys have retained his services to argue Maritime issues on appeal.

Media Appearances

Brett Rivkind, internationally renown for his repeated victories against cruise ship companies, has appeared on dozens of major news programs, including Larry King Live, Good Morning America, and Larry King Live. His expertise and commentary are routinely sought by networks.

Brett Rivkind has appeared on major national television shows, including:

Mr. Rivkind at Congress

In 2006, Brett Rivkind was invited 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. Brett Rivkind was the only plaintiff’s maritime attorney asked to testify before Congress during this session.

cruise ship accident lawyer

The Disappearance of George Smith

At 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.

A History of Results

$6.3 Million

Back Injury

Cruise ship crew member from Haiti suffered a cumulative trauma disorder involving his back while performing his duties as a cleaner on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. He then was provided with negligent medical care treatment. The jury found the cruise line accountable. Verdict of 6.3 million.

$3.7 Million

Seaman Back Injury

Crew Member on tugboat injures back handling heavy lines. Verdict of $3.7 Million.

$2.9 Million

Cruise Ship Injury

Cabin Steward was struck in the knee by a heavy piece of luggage. Company failed to provide prompt, proper and adequate medical care and treatment resulting in an unsuccessful knee surgery which led to an unnecessary knee replacement surgery.

$2.7 Million

Crew Member Injury

A crewmember suffers a stroke as a result of the failure to receive proper medical care and attention while onboard for a ship for his high blood pressure. Verdict of $2.7 Million.

$2.1 Million

Slip & Fall Injury

Crewmember falls into hull of vessel resulting in serious injuries.

$1.2 Million

Cruise Ship Injury

Crew Worker crushed when steel plates suddenly fall on him because they were improperly secured. Suffered internal injuries.

$1.1 Million

Crewmember Injury

Crewmember pulls large suitcase from trolley and suffered injury to his back. Company failed to provide, prompt, proper and adequate medical care and treatment. Verdict of $1,077,650.00.

$1 Million

Seaman Injury

Settlement of Crewmember injured during luggage operations and suffers herniated disc.


Cruise Ship Injury

Waiter slipped and fell in kitchen due to ongoing problem in the lateral area of spillage of food and water creating a dangerous condition, causing approximately two accidents per week. Company did not provide rubber mats had slippery floors. Plaintiff had cervical and lumbar herniated discs. Verdict of $980,250.00.


Workplace Injury

Worker falls while painting on the bridge of ship due to failure to utilize proper safety devices and proper supervision. Settlement of $610,000.00.

Client Testimonials

“My only regret is that I didn’t turn to Rivkind for help sooner...”

“After struggling for moree than a year to get the cruise line to take any responsibility for a series of medical blunders on board that nearly killed me, I got offered a settlement within weeks of turning to acclaimed Maritime attorney Brett Rivkind for help…”

- Chris
Google Review, 1/17

"The best thing I ever did, was make a google search, (frantically trying to find legal advice, after a traumatic incident, alone and in a foreign country)"

"Thank goodness Rivkind & Marguilies came up in my top search. Since day one, When I called, Leslie was the first person I spoke to, through tears and panic, she listened, put me directly on the phone with Bruce, no appointment needed, just listened to my situation, calmed me down and gave me free advice on what I should do (I was stuck in a Caribbean island with a serious injury, minimal medical help, being told I cannot leave by my employer). Within one day of their help, I was on a flight to the USA, all logistics taken care of by them, in the safety of a hotel close to a hospital and a specialist that I so badly needed. From then onwards, I wasn’t alone, they took care of appointments, doctor visits and my well-being when I was at my most vulnerable. Each day they worked tirelessly to get me the justice I needed, I received the best medical care... I met Brett later on, I was so happy to meet the man who has never lost a case, be there for me in my time of need, he is a caring, genuine and powerful man with integrity of his work, he wouldn’t allow me to worry about paperwork, logistics or adjusters and told me only to focus on my getting well again, that he would take care of everything. He was not wrong, they did take care of everything, I only had to work on my recovery and they did exactly what they said they would do. I cannot express enough what it means, to have such a powerhouse team be fighting for you, on your side. Today is the end of my journey, I am eternally grateful for their relentless hard work and the outcome of all of this...Thank you so much, Leslie, Brett and Bruce, for all you have done for me, I will never forget it and only wish I could thank you more. I hope this review helps others make the right decision when they are in their time of need, or happened to find themselves in an unfortunate situation. Really was the best decision I ever made and I wouldn’t have been able to overcome this without them."

- OT
Google Review, 5/21

"Thank you again Mr Margulies and your team. You are the BEST!"

"I want to sincerely say thx to Mr. Bruce Margulies for taking my case and getting it done in only a few months. Mr Margulies kept me up to date on the case and fought a good fight to get me a reasonable settlement. I also want to thank Mr Rupert, Darlene and Lissilaydi for all their input. This is my first time filing a case but with my experience I can safely say that i believe Rivkind &Margulies law firm is the place to go to for the best lawyers who are willing to fight for you to the end. I will not hesitate to refer this firm to anyone looking for legal representation Thank you again Mr Margulies and your team. You are the BEST!"

- Stevonie
Google Review, 8/21

"Rivkind, Margulies & Rivkind, P.A is the best!!!!!"

"Brett Rivkind is phenomenal and his assistant Leslie! very reliable, gets great results for you, and makes it extremely convenient for you to continue with your normal life.He works hard for you and actually listens to you!! At any time I need them they are always available to help .I am thankful for passion and dedication. I will be sending everyone your way!! Thank you when Noone listened you did 🙏"

- Shaytayya
Google Review, 8/21

"Mr Rivkind and his awesome team took very good care of my case"

"I want to pridefully say that Mr Rivkind and his awesome team took very good care of my case. They worked very hard to get the best for me, there was incredibly good communication they always respond my mails within hours sometimes immediately and the most important thing is that after we set the case was incredibly fast all the process . The service they provide me was very professional and close. Mr Rivkind is a very kind powerful attorney and so is his team. Many thanks to from my heart."

- Juan
Google Review, 12/18

"Number one attorney in Miami County!"

"Great experience! [They] helped me to obtain justice with great enthusiasm and great professionalism. It is number one attorney in Miami County! Highly recommended in maritime cases."

- Guilio
Google Review, 11/18

"I wanted to say thank you to my lawyer Brett Rivkind for the great result he got me..."

"I wanted to say thank you to my lawyer Brett Rivkind for the great result he got me plus being such a caring person. He gives you such a feeling of confidence by his hard work and devotion/"

- Miguel
Google Review, 11/18

"Other lawyers it told me it was an extremely difficult case and Brett Rivkind accepted the case and we won."

"Brett Rivkind was my attorney. He was super knowledgeable and informative. Other lawyers it told me it was an extremely difficult case and Brett Rivkind accepted the case and we won. I was extremely satisfied with not only the result, but the entire process. His office was great. He is super easy to communicate with, and clearly knows what he is doing."

- Jose
Review on, 8/16

"He not only has masterful trial lawyers skills but applies maximum preparation to his cases."

"I have tried a good number of cases to jurors since I tried my first case in 1975 both in the capacity of defense attorney as well as plaintiff’s counsel. During that time, I have seen numerous attorneys in action including some who have no business trying cases either due to some lack of innate skill or preparation, many who demonstrated excellent skills , and some who I consider masters of the art. I include Bret Rivkind in the latter category. He not only has masterful trial lawyers skills but applies maximum preparation to his cases. If I ever had the misfortune of sustaining an injury either aboard a ship or on land, I would not hesitate to place my claim in his hands."

- Robert C. Gross, Esq.
Review on, 8/19

National Awards & Recognition

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