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Overview

Raúl Chacón Jr. chairs MG+M’s Maritime Practice and represents clients facing litigation in a variety of areas, including maritime, personal injury, products liability, premises liability, infectious disease counseling and litigation, COVID-19, and commercial litigation. He has extensive experience as national and local counsel for various insurers and corporate entities handling litigation in general liability, maritime, transportation, USCG administrative proceedings and various recreational industry–related matters. He has represented clients from jurisdictions as far north as Canada and throughout the Continental United States, Hawaii, the Caribbean and South America, and has tried over 100 cases to verdict in the state and federal courts of Florida. He is regularly appointed to act as national and local counsel by insurance companies on admiralty and maritime matters. 

Raúl has served in executive capacities on the Florida Bar Admiralty & Maritime Law Board Certification Committee, the Florida Bar Maritime Law Committee, the Cuban American Bar Association, and the League of Prosecutors. He is an adjunct professor of Marine Insurance Law at the University of Miami School of Law, and is Board Certified in Admiralty and Maritime law by the Florida Bar. He has been published, including as a co-author of Florida Maritime Law Practice and Procedure, and has presented on various topics, including maritime law and practice, handling maritime claims in the United States, management of maintenance and cure, risk shifting in maritime contracts, products liability, and analysis of US Supreme Court decisions. Raúl and other MG+M maritime attorneys partner with 360 Coverage Pros to man a 24/7 legal hotline and provide insured crews with skilled legal representation in maritime law issues, including related to marine licenses, insurance, depositions, court proceedings, witness statements and responses to letters of warning notices. 

Raúl earned his JD from the University of Miami School of Law in 1993. He graduated with a BSEE from the University of Miami College of Engineering in 1990. He is admitted to the Florida Bar, US District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, and the US Court of Appeals of the Eleventh Circuit.

Raúl is AV© Preeminent rated.  He has been recognized by Super Lawyers, Top Lawyers in Florida (Admiralty & Maritime Law), Top Rated Lawyer (Commercial Litigation), Top Attorneys in Florida, Best Lawyers listing for Admiralty and Maritime Law, and the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

Experience

  • Secured a summary judgment in favor of a large peer-to-peer boat rental company in a wrongful death case. The court found our client not liable for the death of a young woman who was thrown from a boat rented through the platform, given federal immunity afforded under Section 230 and the lack of definition of a livery under the 2021 Florida Livery Statute. 

  • Successfully defended a boat manufacturer in a two-week maritime products liability and personal injury jury trial in federal court in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multiple plaintiffs were seriously injured, but the evidence and presentation of same convinced a jury that the manufacturer was not at fault. At close, plaintiffs’ counsel asked for an award of more than $125 million, but the jury returned a verdict for the defense.

  • Obtained a defense verdict for a national boat manufacturing company in a three-week products liability and personal injury jury trial involving five personal injury plaintiffs and an insurance company seeking millions of dollars in damages. The cross examination of the plaintiffs’ liability expert, together with the carefully developed testimony of the defense expert, provided all that the jury needed to return a defense verdict. The facts, the science used to undermine plaintiff theories while supporting defense theories and various entertaining snippets of the trial garnered interest by the media. The verdict was featured in the South Florida Daily Business Review.

  • Settled an eight-figure case in which we developed new science via our experts on the effectiveness of an engine cut-off switch and lanyard during a first pass strike. The case—which involved a propeller strike to the plaintiff’s head resulting in nearly catastrophic injuries—occurred upon ejection from a boat and posed very unique and complex challenges. Engine cut-off switches were designed to prevent injuries when a vessel circles back and strikes the ejected operator. There were no studies on their effectiveness for contact immediately after ejection. MG+M identified novel scientific theories to study this scenario, specific to the particulars of the matter, while also developing the evidence to support how the plaintiff caused the accident, as opposed to a failure in the vessel’s steering system. Together with our experts, we developed the tests to prove the theories that ultimately undermined the plaintiff’s experts work and postured the matter for resolution at a reasonable figure. Our cross-examination of the plaintiff’s experts proved fatal to the plaintiff’s case. 

  • Successfully defended a multi–million dollar coverage dispute in a federal court trial arising from property damage incurred during Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and Florida. After hearing a week’s worth of testimony from all parties and their experts, the court returned a verdict in favor of the insurance carrier.

Recognition

  • Top Lawyers, Admiralty and Maritime Law, South Florida Legal Guide, 2012–2018
  • Best Lawyers In America, Admiralty and Maritime Law, Commercial Litigation, 2019–2024
  • Board Certified Admiralty & Maritime Law, 2012; Re-certification in 2017
  • American Boat & Yacht Council, Standards Certification, 2010
  • Thomson Reuters, Florida Super Lawyers, 2013, 2015–2024
  • Rated AV© Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell
  • Top Attorneys in Florida, Wall Street Journal & Miami Magazine, 2013–Present
  • De Los Más Destacados Abogados, Almirantazgo y Marìtimo, Revista Abogados
  • Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers

Involvement

  • Member of the Board of Directors, University of Miami College of Engineering Alumni Association, 2020-Present 
  • Skipper, 2022; First Mate, 2021; Purser, 2020; Yeoman, 2019; Program Chair, 2018; Bosun, 2017; Historian, 2016; Member, 1997 – Present; Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club
  • Associate Member, The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA), 2015-present
  • Member, 1994 - Present; Florida Bar Association
  • Chair, Maritime Law Committee, Florida Defense Lawyers Association 2011-2013
  • Vice Chair, 2014-2016, Admiralty Law Committee, Florida Bar, 2007-Present
  • Chair, 2016; V. Chair, 2015, Admiralty & Maritime Law Board Certification Committee, Florida Bar, 2013-Present
  • Council Member, Boating Industry Risk Management Council, NMMA, 2013-Present
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Boat Political Action Committee, 2015 – Present
  • Member, National Marine Manufacturers Association, 2012-Present
  • Member, American Boat and Yacht Council, 2010-Present
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 1988-Present
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, 1999-Present
  • Vice President, 2010 – 2012; Member of the Board of Directors, 2005 – 2012; Member, 1997 – Present; Cuban American Bar Association
  • President, 2010; Vice President, 2003 – 2009; Treasurer, 2014 – Present; Member of the Board of Directors, 2004 – Present; Member, 1997 – Present; League of Prosecutors
  • Adjunct Professor of Marine Insurance Law, University of Miami School of Law, 2010-Present

Education

  • University of Miami School of Law, JD, 1993
  • University of Miami, BSSE, College of Engineering, 1990

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • US District Court, Middle District of Florida

News + Insights

Speaking Engagements

Complex Claims & Litigation Forum, PropertyCasualty360
Introduction to Marine License Insurance & Captain's Liability, 360 Coverage Pros, Berkley Offshore, MG+M The Law Firm