Jeffrey B. Maltzman



Stanford Law School (J.D., 1987) Stanford University (B.A., 1983)


Florida, California, Washington

11th Circuit Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, United States Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts for all districts in California, Florida, Washington and Arizona.


Board Certified Legal Specialist in Admiralty & Maritime Law; State Bar of California.
Florida Super Lawyers: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006.
AV Preeminent Rated Martindale Hubbell™
Best of the Bar, Florida Trend Magazine 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2005
Best of the Bar, Miami Daily Business Review 2005
Best Verdicts, South Florida Business Journal 2004
Best of the Bar South Florida Business Journal 2010
Member Litigation Counsel of America
Jeffrey is a founding partner and principal of the firm. He is a former Judge Pro Tem of the Municipal Court of California, San Diego County.

Jeffrey specializes in all aspects of complex litigation, resort and tourism law, admiralty, insurance defense, medical malpractice, and corporate crisis management. In his 22 years of practicing law, he has accumulated extensive experience handling a wide array of high profile cases in state and federal courts nationwide.  Jeffrey has substantial trial experience, has been featured in the National Law Journal, and is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.  

Clients frequently call upon Jeffrey to help their companies effectively respond to major mass casualty and other high profile crisis.  He has appeared as an expert or spokesperson on CNN, Court TV, Dateline, Nancy Grace, Anderson Cooper 360, and the Today Show.

Outside the courtroom, Jeffrey frequently lectures on a wide array of human resources and tort issues. He also provides employee training on issues such as diversity and sexual harassment. When not practicing law, you can usually find Jeffrey working at his award winning California winery which produces exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Savignon Blanc and Chardonnay under the brand names Maltzman Family Vineyards, Navigator Wines, and Gold Creek Vineyards.


“Shipboard Medical Care,” 10 Benedict on Admiralty, Chapter 9 (2015)

The Seafarer's Ancient Duty to Rescue and Modern Attempts to Regulate the Good Samaritan, Tulane Law Review, 2015

Travel - Los Angeles Times (2010)
Daily Business Review Features Jeffrey Maltzman Commenting on the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act of 2010
Law departments are finding out how convenient-and cheap-video and Web conferencing can be (2009)

“Twas the Night Before Regulations: Foreign-Flagged Cruise Ships and the ADA,” 75 Tulane Law Review 1571 (2001)
“Islands in the Sun, Cruise Line Liability for Water Activities on Private Islands,” University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal, (2001)
“Jobs in Paradise: The Definitive Guide to Exotic Jobs Everywhere,” HarperCollins Publishers, 1990, 1993





B.A. University of California at Davis (1985); J.D. University of Miami School of Law (Cum Loude 1998).


Florida, Washington


Articles Editor, University of Miami Law Review

Law Clerk to the Honorable Ursula Ungaro, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida.





University of Florida College of Law (J.D., 2001)   University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, 1998)


Florida, U.S. District Courts - Southern and Northern Districts of Florida, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.


Law Clerk to the Hon. James M. Barton II, Circuit Court, 13th Judicial District, Florida.  
Editor, Journal of Technology Law & Policy, University of Florida Levin College of Law.
Phi Beta Kappa

Steve is a partner in the firm's Coral Gables office.  He previously worked with the law firm of Maltzman Foreman, P.A.  

Steve practices civil litigation with an emphasis on resort and tourism law and the defense of passenger and crewmember maritime tort claims. He also handles complex commercial litigation and class action claims.  

Steve began his legal career as the staff attorney to a distinguished judge in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida—Complex Civil Litigation Division. Before entering the legal profession, Steve was a general foreman for a large industrial contractor based in Los Angeles.

When not practicing law, Steve can be found exploring his extensive wine collection or visiting his family's resort hotel in New England.



Ed Nield Photo.jpeg


University of Notre Dame (B.A., 1976) University of Denver (J.D., 1983) University of Denver (M.B.A., 1984)





American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)

Ed, along with his wife Gabrielle Nield, handles cases in the firms California and Colorado offices.  He has extensive experience in the areas of medical malpractice, personal injury and professional liability, and commercial litigation.   Ed's regularly handles cases for the firm's cruise industry and hotel clients.   He also has an active practice specializing in the defense of state and local government agencies and he regularly represents the State of California. 

Ed is an experienced trial attorney and has earned the honor of admission into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).  He also continues his longtime service as an arbitrator/mediator to both the San Diego and Riverside County Superior Courts.

Ed received his Bachelors (BA) Degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame in 1976.   After working for several years in management for an international food service company, he attended the law and graduate business schools at the University of Denver where he received his Juris Doctor (JD) in 1983 and a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) in 1984.   He is an experienced litigator with over 30 trials to his credit.

* Of Counsel Partner; also affiliated with Nield Law Group



Gabrielle Nield Photo.jpeg


J.D., Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, California (1983)
B.A., Loyola Marymount University (1978)




Gabrielle De Santis Nield received her Bachelor’s (BA) Degree in History with a minor in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles in 1978. She attended Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles and obtained her Juris Doctor (JD) in May of 1983, successfully completing the California Bar the first time around for admission in December of 1983.

Gabrielle is licensed to practice law in California and is a member of the California Bar Associations as well as the San Diego County Bar Association and North San Diego County Bar Association. She is also admitted to practice before all of the United States District Courts in California, including the Central District Court in Los Angeles, Eastern District, Northern District, Southern District as well as the Supreme Court of the United States.

She has been practicing in Southern California for over 25 years. She was formerly a partner with Tuverson and Hillyard where her practice was focused in the areas of personal injury and professional liability defense.  Her past work experience also includes serving as Assistant Counsel at in-house counsel for State Farm Insurance Companies focusing her practice on third party and first party personal injury defense.  Gabrielle practices in the firm's California office alongside her partner-husband Ed Nield.

She has tried numerous cases to a jury, participated in hundreds of mediations and arbitrations and is a past arbiter with the San Diego courts. She enjoys running, working out, and spending time with her family and friends. Gabrielle also is involved with non-profit organizations that support parents and mothers who have lost their children.

                                                               * Of Counsel Partner; also affiliated with Nield Law Group




University of Miami School of Law (J.D., Magna Cum Laude and LL.M. International Law, May 2012); Washington University in St. Louis (A.B. 2008).


Florida, California, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.


Law Clerk to the Hon. Edwin Torres, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Inter-American Law Review, Associate Editor
Writing Dean's Fellow, Academic Achievement Program
CALI Excellent for the Future Award and Book Award
Dean's List
Outstanding Public Interest Scholarship Recipient
Phi Delta Phi


Rafaela is admitted in both Florida and California and handles matter on both coasts. She specializes in maritime and travel law with an emphasis in international arbitration.  She is originally from Spain and was raised in Puerto Rico. Rafaella speaks English, Spanish, French and Italian.  

As editor of the Inter-American Law Review, Rafaela conducted extensive research on international arbitration and the enforceability of international arbitration agreements.  She is a former law clerk to the Hon. Edwin Torres at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. She is currently a member of the Hispanic Bar Association, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution and the Young Arbitrators Forum of the International Chamber of Commerce.  



Senior Associate**


University of California at Los Angeles, magna cum laude (B.A., 1983) University of Southern California (J.D., 1987)




Teresa works out of the firm's Los Angeles office.   She obtained her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies from UCLA, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.  She attended the University of Southern California Gould School of Law on a full academic scholarship.  Teresa has over 20 years of litigation experience and has extensive experience handling maritime, resort and tourism related cases.  For most of her career, she has defended major insurance companies and self-insured entities in cases involving significant personal injuries and/or multi-million dollar property losses. Teresa has drafted appellate briefs and has argued before the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District. Teresa's experience makes her an effective and efficient litigator.

alex devine
associate attorney


B.A., Queens University, 1992

J.D. University of Richmond School of Law, 2003

L.L.M. Admiralty Law, Tulane University School of Law, 2004

Alex grew up in the British Virgin Islands and is a licensed U.S. Coast Guard Captain with extensive experience as a charter boat captain before obtaining his law degree.   His practice concentrates on maritime and admiralty issues where he has a lengthy history defending cruise lines and other maritime entities.


associate attorney



J.D., University of Miami School of Law




Of Counsel


University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School
CIMA, MPT Executive Education Program, 2008

University of South Carolina Law School - Columbia
Juris Doctorate, LAW, 1992

Northwood University-Florida
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Business/Managerial Economics & Marketing, 1988


National Semi Finalist, Environmental Law Moot Court

South Carolina Delegate, American Bar Association LSD

Negotiation Team State Representative; Phi Delta Phi.


Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Utah, Arizona


Volunteer hammer swinger, Habitat for Humanity of Durham
Board Member, North Carolinians against Racist and Religious Violence


Steve has worked in the firm's maritime practice group defending cruise lines in cases involving passenger and crew personal injury, class actions, and medical malpractice.   He is also an active member of the firm's emergency mass casualty response team having led one of the team response units in the wake of the Star Princess fire. 

When not working for the firm, Steve is active in his family's real estate development business and is also a licensed Realtor. 






Maegan Liebowitz



Law Clerk



B.A., Georgetown University (magna cum loude, 2011)

J.D. (candidate), Harvard Law School


English, Italian, French, German

Bekka Woodward


Bekka is a paralegal in the firm's California office.