Michael F. Guilford
Mr. Guilford was born and raised in Coral Gables, Florida and is a third generation Miamian. Mr. Guilford enjoys outdoor activities including motorcycle riding, offshore fishing, scuba diving and hiking. Mr. Guilford attended the prestigious Ransom prepatory school and graduated from Florida State University with a double undergraduate major in Finance and Economics. Thereafter, Mr. Guilford attended the University of Miami School of Law where he was a member of the Student Senate and was president of the Student Bar Association. Mr. Guilford is a member of Iron Arrow, the “Highest Honor Attained” at the University of Miami.
From 1985 to 1991 Mr. Guilford was a member of the Law Firm of Patton & Kanner where he defended ship-owners, charterers and cruise lines in crew member litigation including Jones Act, Unseaworthiness and Maintenance and Cure claims and passenger personal injury claims.
From 1991 to 1997 Mr. Guilford was Vice President and assistant General Counsel of Scandinavian Marine Claims Office, the North American arm of Scandinavian Underwriters Association. In this position he was working directly for underwriters/insurers both actively handling and overseeing outside counsel on crew member, passenger, personal injury and physical damage/Hull & Machinery claims.
From 1997 to the present Mr. Guilford has been the founding partner of Michael F. Guilford, P. A. and during this period was also a founding partner of Guilford & Rash, P. A. where he has focused his practice primarily on representing injured crew members and passengers against the major cruise lines and ship owners throughout Florida and the United States.
Mr. Guilford is one of a very few admiralty trial lawyers who has worked for a defense firm representing cruise lines and in house for the cruise lines’ insurers and therefore knows from the inside how cruise lines and their insurance companies handle these claims and uses that knowledge to obtain the very best results for his clients.
Mr. Guilford is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale, a rating acquired by only 5% of all attorneys. The rating indicates he has reached the height of professional experience and is recognized by his peers for the highest levels of skill and integrity. Mr. Guilford has been a member of The American Association for Justice since 1999, is a member of the Florida Justice Association, and the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, has been the vice chair of the ABA Admiralty Committee and is currently a member of the Florida Bar Admiralty Committee. Mr. Guilford has been a frequent guest lecturer on seaman’s rights, including at both the University of Miami and the Direccion General De La Marina Mercante De Honduras.
In addition to Mr. Guilford’s professional activities he is a member of the University of Miami Citizens Board, a past member of the University of Miami Law School Alumni Association Board of Directors, an adult advisor to Boy Scout Troop 457 and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Alma Jennings Foundation.
Mr. Guilford is a member of the Florida Bar, the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern District of Florida and has appeared before the Florida District Courts of Appeal as well as the United States 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Areas of Practice
- 80% Admiralty & Maritime Law
- Passenger Claims
- Seamen/Crew Claims
- Cruise Ship Assault/Sexual Assaults
- Yacht Crew Accidents
- Recreational Boating Injuries
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Personal Injury — Plaintiff
- Motor Vehicle Accidents — Plaintiff
- Medical Malpractice
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
- University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, Florida
- J.D. – 1985
- Honors: Member, Student Senate
- Honors: President, Student Bar Association
- Honors: Member, Iron Arrow
- Honors: Member, University of Miami Citizens Board
- Honors: Past Member of the University of Miami Law School Alumni Association Board of Directors
- Florida State University
- B.S. – 1982
- Major: Finance
- Major: Economics
- Ransom Prepatory School – 1976
- University of Miami, Guest Lecturer
- Direccion General De La Marina Mercante De Honduras
Honors and Awards
- AV Preeminent by Martindale
Professional Associations and Memberships
- The American Association for Justice, Member since 1999
- Florida Justice Association, Member
- Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, Member
- Florida Bar Admiralty Committee, Member
- ABA Admiralty Committee, Vice Chair
Past Employment Positions
- Guilford & Rash, P. A., Founding Partner
- Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of Scandinavian Marine Claims Office, North American arm of Scandinavian Underwriters Association
- Law Firm of Patton & Kanner, Member
Pro Bono Activities
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Alma Jennings Foundation
- Adult Advisor, Boy Scout Troop 457