Dunleavy, Jonathan

Dunleavy, Jonathan




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An experienced litigator, Jon’s representation encompasses a broad range of insurance cases, from the most basic slip-and-fall matters to more complex, multi-party wrongful death and high-dollar property claims. He focuses his practice on admiralty and maritime law, and advises clients in claims relating to insurance defense, personal injury protection (PIP), products liability, subrogation, and construction defect claims. With a career spanning nearly twenty years, Jon has successfully tried cases in both State and Federal Courts. Jon is passionate about providing counsel to his clients using an individualized approach, taking the time to listen and to carefully assess each case.

A sought-after speaker, Jon is routinely invited to present at various notable events, including the Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club Seminar, Tampa Bay Mariners Seminar and the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute Annual Seminar. For over a decade, Jon has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami where he teaches Public Speaking.  He is also an active member of various organizations, serving on the board of directors and holding several high offices.

Jon is a partner at Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP, a Martindale Hubbell AV rated minority certified law firm that is consistently ranked among the top ten most diverse law firms in South Florida by the Daily Business Review. HMB has offices throughout Florida and internationally including Bahamas, Jamaica and the Virgin Islands.


1997 – J.D.,Thomas M. Cooley Law School
1994 – B.S., Michigan State University, Lyman Briggs College of national Sciences


  • State:
    • Florida, 2000
    • Illinois, 1998
    • 3rd and 4th District Court of Appeals
  • Federal:
    • United States District Court for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida
    • United States Court of Appeals 11th Circuit

Notable Verdicts and Trial Experience

  • Successfully argued application of maritime law in a construction defect claim that limited claimant’s damages from $1.5M to $135,000.
  • Litigated in both State and Federal Court 40+ foreign crew claims against a foreign vessel owner wherein all claims were dismissed on forum non conveniens.
  • Obtained complete exoneration in Limitation of Liability Action for vessel owner where Plaintiff claimed damages in excess of $1M.
  • Represented a passenger ferry service that was involved in a contract dispute with a catamaran manufacturer that resulted in summary judgment being granted and final judgment of $1.4M.
  • Defense verdict on claim of negligent operation of vessel wherein Plaintiff sustained compression fracture of spine.


  • Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club
    • 2011 to present Seminar Committee
    • 2013 Seminar Chair
    • 2014 Historian
    • 2015 Program Chair
    • 2016 Yeoman
    • 2017 Purser and Golf Chair
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI)
    • 2015-2016 Board of Directors
  • Propeller Club
    • Member 2007
  • Monica Burguera Foundation
    • 2016 Board of Directors
  • Miami Dade County Bar Association



  • Co-Presenter, “Seaworthiness: Are You Towing the Line?” Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club Seminar, October 29, 2014
  • Speaker, “Maritime Insurance Subrogation Issues: Subrogation- From Lord Hardwicke to Present,” Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI) Annual Seminar, June 27, 2014.
  • Speaker, “Marine Surveying from a Lawyer’s Perspective and an Update on the Criminal Act Exclusion,” National Association of Marine Surveyors Regional Meeting, June 21, 2014.
  • Speaker, “Does Crime Pay? An Update on the Criminal Act Exclusion and Intentional Act Exclusion,” Tampa Bay Mariners Club 2014 Marine Industry Seminar, May 15, 2014.