Tonya J. Meister

Top rated transportation & maritime attorney in Miami, Florida

Meister Law LLC
Tonya J. Meister
Meister Law LLC

Practice Areas: Transportation & maritime; view more

Licensed in Florida since: 2003

Education: Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2015 - 2023 Selected to Rising Stars: 2012 - 2013
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Meister Law LLC

9300 S Dadeland Blvd
Suite 101
Miami, FL 33156 Visit website


When it comes to maritime law, Attorney Tonya Meister is in a league of her own. As recognized leader in the field of maritime law, Ms. Meister is board-certified in Admiralty and Maritime law by The Florida Bar – Board of Legal Specialization & Education.   Attorney Meister has served in many leadership positions, authored maritime scholarly materials, and lectured at numerous maritime law education programs. She is highly respected for her insight and experience in this area of law, and has made appearances on television programs in the United States and overseas speaking on topics related to maritime law. Attorney Meister is recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer.  She is co-author of the chapter on Personal Injury and Wrongful Death of Passenger in the Florida Maritime Law and Practice book published by The Florida Bar (both the 6th and 7th Editions).

Despite all of her accomplishments, she is most proud of helping individuals harmed by maritime incidents.  Whether you are an injured boater, a cruise ship passenger harmed on your dream vacation, or a seafarer who was hurt or became ill on the job, Meister can help you obtain justice.  She gives each client personal attention and specialized support. With maritime law the sole focus of her practice, Meister is an expert in this specialized area.  She is committed to protecting her clients’ legal rights and improving safety at sea.  She has obtained multiple multiple million dollar awards for her clients, including a 20.3 million dollar jury verdict award for a Royal Caribbean crew member and a 3 million dollar jury verdict for a Celebrity crew member.  She has obtained favorable arbitration awards, including in excess of 1 million dollars, for injured seafarers.  

In addition to representing individual clients injured due to maritime accidents, Meister serves as President of the board of directors for the International Seafarers Ministry of Miami and Canaveral Port Ministry.  She is a former legal counsel for Port Ministries International and former legal counsel for ITF International Transport Workers Federation.  

Ms. Meister received a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from the University of Central Florida and went on to graduate cum laude from Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law. She holds licenses to practice law before all Florida state courts, all Florida U.S. District Courts and the Supreme Court of the United States.  

Over the course of her career, Ms. Meister has served in several leadership positions, including chair of The Florida Bar’s Admiralty & Maritime Law Certification Committee, chair of The Florida Bar's Admiralty section, chair of the American Association for Justice’s Admiralty Law Section, chair of one of The Florida Bar's Grievance Committees, and vice-chair of the Florida Admiralty Trial Lawyers Association.

Practice areas


Focus areas

Admiralty & maritime law

  • 100% Transportation/maritime

First Admitted: 2003, Florida

Professional Webpage:

Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Board Certified Expert in Admiralty and Maritime Law by the Florida Bar
  • Barry University School of Law, Member, Student Trial Advocacy Team, Advocate in three trial competitions. In the 2000 AFTL competition, team advanced to the semifinals, Certified County Court Mediator and Mediation Internship at the Orange County Courthouse, Legislative proposal/legislative analysis submitted to Florida State Representative Haridopolos.
  • Florida Super Lawyer
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • International Seafarers Ministry of Miami
  • Space Coast Seafarers Ministry
  • Port Ministries International
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Brevard County Bar Association
  • Florida Association of Women Lawyers
  • Miami-Dade Justice Association
  • Florida Justice Association
  • Dade County Bar Association
  • Florida Admiralty Trial Lawyers Association, Vice Chair
  • The Florida Bar’s Admiralty Law Committee, Chair
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • American Association of Justice’s Admiralty Law Section, Chair
  • All Florida state courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Punitive Damages Update: Jones Act, Maintenance and Cure, and General Maritime Law for the University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal
  • Personal Injury and Wrongful Death of Passenger in the Florida Maritime Law and Practice book published by The Florida Bar
  • Update on the Eleventh, Eighth, Seventh and Sixth Circuits for a Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
  • Alumni Board of Directors for Barry University
  • Florida International University
  • University of Miami Law School
  • St. Thomas Law School
  • Causes of Action Under Bahamian and Panamanian Law in Seafarer Arbitrations and the Maritime Labor Convention for the Florida Bar Admiralty and Maritime Section Law Section
  • Personal Injury and Wrongful Death of Passengers for the Florida Bar Admiralty and Maritime Law Section
  • Punitive Damages in Maritime Law Claims for the American Justice Association
  • Forum Non-Conveniens for the American Trial Lawyers Association (now American Justice Association)
  • Crew Arbitration for The Florida Bar Admiralty and Maritime Law Section
  • Cruise Ship Law for The Florida Bar Admiralty and Maritime Law Section
  • Update on Crew Injury Claims for The Florida Bar Admiralty and Maritime Law Section
Representative Clients:
  • Atlantic Sounding Co. v. Townsend
Educational Background:
  • Southern Illinois University, Student Government Senator, Judicial Review Board, 1992
  • University of Central Florida, B.A., Legal Studies, Dean's List, Spring-Fall, 1997
Industry Groups:
  • Admiralty & Maritime

Office location for Tonya J. Meister

9300 S Dadeland Blvd
Suite 101
Miami, FL 33156

Phone: 305-590-5570


9 Years Super Lawyers
2 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2015 - 2023
  • Rising Stars: 2012 - 2013

Certificates and credentials

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