Michelle Otero Valdés  

Michelle Otero Valdés

Michelle Otero Valdés was born and raised in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where she grew up on the water shrimping, fishing, snorkeling and diving. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration, with a dual major in International Business and Management from Florida International University and her Juris Doctor degree from St. Thomas University School of Law. Mrs. Otero Valdés was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1994 and became Board Certified Admiralty and Maritime Law in 2007.

Ms. Otero Valdés is experienced in all facets of civil litigation, with primary emphasis in admiralty and maritime law, including, but not limited to, collisions, allisions, groundings, emergency casualty response, maritime attachments and arrests, marine pollution claims under OPA90 and CLC Conventions, defense of maritime death and injury claims, passenger and crew claims, commercial maritime contracts and transactions, marine casualty investigations, P&I and FDD matters, H&M claims, claims coverage evaluations, salvage and SCOPIC claims, cargo claims and recoveries, charter party disputes, general liability defense, yacht sale and purchase agreements, freight forwarders/NVOCC liability claims, the representation of vessel manufacturers, marinas and boatyards, and other international commercial transactions.  
Mrs. Otero Valdés has been counsel in several high profile cases and, as a previous Account Executive of Thomas Miller Inc. (Miami), Managers for the United Kingdom Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Ltd. and The United Kingdom Freight Demurrage and Defense Association Limited, is recognized for her in-depth knowledge of marine insurance matters. As a result, Ms. Otero Valdés is asked to speak and write on a wide variety of marine insurance topics, including pollution liability, P&I Clubs and the risks they cover, Freight Demurrage and Defense cover, hull and machinery forms (both U.S. and U.K.), cargo insurance clauses, marina operator's liability, shiprepairer's legal liability, limitation of liability, and the interface between coverages for employers under the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harborworker's Compensation Act.
Mrs. Otero Valdés is Crew Qualified with the United States Coast Auxiliary; a member of the Florida Bar;  the Florida Bar Admiralty and Maritime Law Certification Committee (Vice Chair 2011-2012, Chair 2012-2013);  the Florida Bar Admiralty Law Committee (Seminar Committee Chair 2012); U. S. District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida (Local Rules Committee for the Southern District 2011); the Eleventh Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals; Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI); Proctor Member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States; Women's International Shipping & Trading Association, USA (WISTA); Dade County Bar Association; American Boat & Yacht Council; International Bar Association; Connecticut Maritime Association; and the Fort Lauderdale Mariner's Club.

Mrs. Otero Valdés is fluent in Spanish and English and has a basic knowledge of Portuguese. She also maintains a blog which can be found at which contains information and discussion centered around shipping and shipping law matters relevant to South Florida.
After office hours and abroad, Mrs. Otero Valdés can be reached on her U.S. Mobile at: +1 305 978 8345.

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