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JOHN W. KELLER, III, a partner in Keller & Bolz, LLP, is Board Certified in Admiralty and Maritime Law (Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education), an Arbitrator (independent), and recognized in “The Best Lawyers in America” (1993-present), “Florida Super Lawyers” and the South Florida Legal Guide.  He is admitted to practice before the Eleventh and Fifth Circuit Courts of Appeals and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida.  He is a member of The Florida Bar (currently serving as a member of the Admiralty Law Committee), The Maritime Law Association of the United States, the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, the Defense Research Institute, and the Dade County and American Bar Associations.

 

Education

 

Bachelor of Science, with Honors (1974), University of Florida.

 

Juris Doctor (1977), Stetson University College of Law.

 

Experience

 

Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Keller returned to his home town, Miami, where he has been continuously engaged in the practice of law beginning as an associate and then as a partner at Smathers & Thompson.  He joined Fowler, White, Burnett, Hurley Banich and Strickroot in 1982 and worked there as a partner until 1992, when he co-founded the law firm of Keller & Houck, P.A.  In March 2002, he joined Henry Bolz, III, and formed their present partnership - Keller & Bolz, LLP.

 

Mr. Keller’s litigation practice encompasses a wide array of trials, appeals, arbitrations (both as arbitrator and as counsel), and administrative proceedings involving:

 

  • Insurance Coverage

  • Environmental and pollution incidents

  • Contract disputes, including disputes relating to letter of credit programs and payment mechanisms, contract breaches, indemnity and contribution, charters, dredging activities, marine employment, terminal and stevedoring operations, shipyard and marina matters, etc. 

  • Personal injury and wrongful death claims

  • Collisions and allisions

  • Vessel, shipyard and marina explosions and fires

  • Groundings and sinkings

  • Salvage

  • Mortgages and liens

  • Pilotage regulation, accidents and disputes

  • Products liabilities

  • Cargo loss and damage

  • Towage accidents and disputes

  • Coast Guard, National Transportation Safety Board, Immigration and Customs investigations and proceedings

 

As to business ventures and transactional matters, Mr. Keller’s practice is devoted to advising individual and corporate clients, including a number of ship owners, charterers, dredge companies, shipyard and marina operators, financial institutions, insurers, concessionaires and cargo interests with respect to:

 

  • Sales and construction

  • Vessel financing

  • Warranty issues

  • Product liability

  • Marina operations

  • Repair, dockage and lease agreements

  • Critical self evaluations and investigations re management and operational practices

  • Salvage Agreements

  • Insurance policies, terms and conditions

  • Charter Parties

  • Vessel management -- Safety Management Systems, STCW, etc.

  • Vessel and harbor security plans

  • Marine regulatory compliance

  • Concessionaire contracts

  • Passenger ticket contracts

  • Crew employee manuals

  • Crew employment agreements

 

Publications

  • “Law Applicable to Marina Operators,” Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, June, 1987

  • “Marine Casualty Reporting & Investigation,” Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute Seminar, 1998

  • “Marine Casualty Reporting & Investigation,” Volume 24, Number 1, Tulane Maritime Law Journal, 1999

  • “Environmental Damage: Coverage & Exposure Above and Below the Water Line, The Wave of Change” - Marine Insurance Seminar, Fort Lauderdale Mariners’ Club, October 24, 2001

  • “Mediating Maritime Claims,” The Florida Bar Admiralty Law Committee, Florida Bar Annual Meetings, January 2007

  • "Florida National Marine Sanctuaries and Parks, Environments Apart," Lorman, January, 2008

  • “Corporate Manslaughter and Personal Injury in the Maritime Context,” Panelist, The London Shipping Law Centre, March 12, 2008

 

Awards, Honors and Recognitions

 

  • The Best Lawyers in America: 1993 - present.

  • AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell.  This rating is Martindale-Hubbell’s highest possible distinction reflecting judiciary and bar members’ peer review in both legal ability and ethical standards.

  • Florida Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2018.

  • Top Lawyer, South Florida Legal Guide

 

John W. Keller, III

Partner

 

Phone: (305) 529-8500

 

Cell: (305) 798-1428

 

Facsimile: (305) 529-0228

 

Email: jkeller@kellerbolz.com

Education

 

University of Florida, B.S., with Honors, 1974.

 

Stetson University College of Law, J.D., 1977.

 

Bar Admissions

 

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

 

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

 

United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida

 

Florida