Victor Jose Pelaez is a Shareholder in the firm's Maritime Practice Group in the Miami office. Victor is a trial lawyer with extensive experience practicing in various areas of civil litigation including maritime and admiralty, complex business disputes, and international litigation. Victor has handled numerous multi-million dollar lawsuits on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, major cruise lines, national banks, and real estate developers. Victor has represented clients in both civil lawsuits and private arbitrations involving personal injury claims, wrongful death claims, crew member claims, breach of contract claims, business torts, copyright infringement claims, construction claims, and real estate disputes. Victor has vast experience handling both domestic and cross-border litigation matters for Latin American corporations and investors.
Victor has represented clients in state court matters throughout all of Florida and has litigated dozens of federal cases in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida. He has also handled cases in the federal district courts for New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Juan. Victor has represented clients in appellate matters before Florida’s Third and Second District Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Victor earned his law degree at Florida International University College of Law. Before that, he graduated cum laude from Florida International University earning a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a minor in Business Administration.
- Represented the world's largest cruise lines in dozens of federal lawsuits and private arbitration matters involving passenger personal injury claims, wrongful death claims, medical malpractice claims, and crew member claims under maritime law.
- Obtained defense verdicts in two federal trials involving wrongful death claims brought against separate cruise lines under the Death On the High Seas Act (DOHSA).
- Defended major corporate clients in numerous premises liability claims arising from allegations of over-service of alcohol and negligent security.
- Represented owner of an aircraft in a lawsuit involving alleged breach of an aircraft lease agreement and dispute over possession.
- Successfully defended developer of a South Florida luxury condominium tower in a lawsuit seeking over $70 million in damages for alleged copyright infringement over architectural plans. Defended same developer in numerous other lawsuits including an action by former owners to recover over $40 million in damages for alleged breach of a profit-sharing agreement and other alleged business torts.
- Participated in successful joint defense of a Fortune 500 corporation and two of its officers in a multi-billion dollar environmental damages litigation spanning multiple countries and forums.
- Represented Fortune 500 corporation and largest U.S. bank as its escalated litigation counsel in over 90 lawsuits and three appeals throughout the state of Florida.
- Successfully represented individual investor in FINRA arbitration against a major financial services firm.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Hispanic National Bar Association
- Cuban American Bar Association
- Dade County Bar Association
- Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
- Guest Lecturer, Carnival Cruise Line's Annual Security Conference, 2017, 2018