Anthony John Cuva

Personal Background

Tony Cuva was reared in Manatee County, Florida, where he naturally acquired a passion for everything about the Gulf of Mexico, including swimming, boating, fishing, sailing, surfing, wind surfing and practically anything that involves water. He attended Fordham University and New York Law School. During the summers, Tony worked as a lifeguard on Manatee County’s beaches. In 1991 after graduating from law school, Tony returned to Florida to practice law with a litigation boutique firm, Stagg, Hardy. Because of his love for the sea, Tony gravitated toward the firm’s Admiralty and Maritime department. In 1993, he joined the national law firm of Akerman Senterfitt, became a shareholder of that firm in 1998 and became the head of that firm’s Admiralty law practice group as of 2001. In 2010, Tony left Akerman with his partner, Pedro Bajo, and two other reputable Tampa litigators (Ken Turkel and Steve Cohen) to found the law firm of Bajo | Cuva | Cohen | Turkel.


  • New York Law School, J.D., 1991
  • Fordham University, B.A., 1987

Adjunct Professor

  • University of Florida, Levin College of Law, Admiralty and Maritime Law 2011-2015

Awards and Recognition

  • Board Certified as a Specialist in Admiralty and Maritime Litigation, The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2006-present; Ranked No. 1 Nationally in Shipping (outside New York City)
  • Admiralty and Maritime Law Certification Committee, Chairman, 2008-2010; Vice Chair, 2007-2008
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-present
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV rated
  • Florida Trend’s Legal Elite 2015-present
  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2007-present
  • Licensed United States Coast Guard Captain, OUPV

Bar Admissions

  • Florida, 1991

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Port of Tampa Maritime Industries Association, Board Member, 2016-present
  • American Victory Ship and Museum, Board Member, 2015-present
  • Propeller Club, Member, 2000 to present; Board Member, 2010-2011
  • Leadership Tampa, Participant, 2007
  • The Florida Bar (Member, Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee)
  • Chair, Admiralty and Maritime Law Certification Committee, 2008-2009
  • Maritime Law Association of the U.S. (Proctor in Admiralty, 1996; Member Since 1992, Committee Marine Insurance, General Average and Salvage)
  • Federal Bar Association, Board Member, 2000
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI), Member 1992 to present; Director for Port of Tampa, 1997-1999
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association (Trial Lawyers Section), Board Member, 2010-2011
  • Florida Bar Association, Member of Grievance Committee, 2009
  • American Inns of Court, Cheatwood Inn, 2017-2018
  • American Inns of Court, Ferguson-White Inn, Barrister Member, 2001-2003
  • American Inns of Court, Ferguson-White Inn, Pupil Member, 1992-1993
  • American Inns of Court, William Glenn Terrell Inn, Barrister Member, 1994-1999
  • Tampa Catholic Lawyers Guild, Board of Directors, 1997-1998

Notable Client Work

  • Represented Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine, Inc. in federal jury trial involving claims for Breach of Express/Implied Warranties and Violation of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, October 2014
  • Represented client in trial involving claim for damages allegedly caused by stevedore, July 2009
  • Represented Rolls-Royce in claim made by cruise lines alleging over $300 million dollars in damage for propulsion system failures, 2007
  • Represented a public utility in litigation regarding an alleged $60 million claim for failed international business venture. Obtained summary judgment in favor of client, August 2004, and the decision was affirmed on appeal, September 2005
  • Represented a public utility in a Colombian arbitration involving a $60 million claim brought by prospective partner arising from power plant purchase. Worked closely with Colombian counsel in international arbitration.
  • Representation of harbor pilot involved in a three vessel collision and extensive oil spill on Tampa Bay resulting in a five week Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board investigative hearing, 1993
  • Represented towing company in trial involving claim for property damages, 2001
  • Represented harbor pilot in trial involving claim for personal injuries resulting in defense verdict, 2002
  • Obtained judgment in bench trial in favor of engine manufacturer in trial to enforce claim for maritime lien and defense verdict on $5 million dollar counterclaim for breach of warranty and negligent misrepresentation, 2002
  • Meridian Bulk Carriers, Ltd. v. Kinder Morgan Bulk Terminals, Inc., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62923 (M.D. Fla. July 22, 2009).
  • Rolls-Royce plc vs. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., 960 So.2d 768 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007).
  • Skuld v. Apollo Ship Chandlers, Inc., 347 So.2d 991 (Fla.3d DCA 2003).
  • Villaflores v. Royal Venture Cruise Lines, Ltd., 1997 AMC 2532 (M.D. Fla. 1997).
  • Banana Services Inc. v. M/V TASMAN STAR, et al., 64 F. 3d 418, 1996 AMC 260 (11th Cir. 1995).
  • Banana Services Inc. v. M/V TASMAN STAR, et al., 1994 AMC 1617 (M.D. Fla. 1994).

Published Work and Lectures

  • Lecture: Navigating the Marine Incident, Injury and Intoxication, Florida State Harbor Pilots Association, November 2019
  • Contributing Author: Maritime Law and Practice, “Maritime Insurance,” Chapter 11, The Florida Bar, Fourth Edition 2004
  • Contributing Author: Florida Maritime Law and Practice, “Pleasure Boats,” Chapter 14, Fifth Edition 2017
  • Contributing Author: Florida Maritime Law and Practice, “Admiralty and Maritime Jurisdiction,” Chapter 1 and “Pleasure Boats,” Chapter 14, Sixth Edition 2019
  • Lecturer Arbitration “Contracting for Future Litigation,” June 2, 2008
  • Lorman Education Services, Author, “Maritime Practice and Procedures,” 2007
  • Lecture Florida Bar Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee, June 2004, “Pilotage Law in Florida”
  • Lecture Maritime Law Association Board of Directors Meeting, March 2004, “Pilots: Crossing the Bar”
  • Lecture Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, 2003, “Pilots: Safely Navigating Treacherous Legal Waters”
  • Contributing Author: The Florida Bar Admiralty and Maritime Law Manual, Chapter 11, Marine Insurance, October 2002
  • Lecture,Council of America Master Mariners, April 2002, “Uncharted Waters, The Legal Aspects concerning the Use of Portable Navigation Systems”
  • Lecture Admiralty Law Committee Meeting, “Arrest Pursuant to Rule D”
  • Author: “The Legal Dimensions of In Vitro Fertilization: Cryopreserved Embryos Frozen in Legal Limbo”, 8 N.Y. L.Sch.J.Hm.Rts 383 (1991)

Community Involvement

  • St. Vincent De Paul Society, Member, 1992 to present
  • St. Vincent De Paul Society, Sacred Heart Church, President, December 1997 to September 1999
  • St. Vincent De Paul Society, Christ the King Church, President, 2001-2003