John W. Merting

John W. Merting

Sole Practitioner since 1968
Gulf Breeze, Florida
(850) 733-8997
(866) 416-4412
(850) 916-9787

A Pensacola native, John W. Merting has been in practice in the Pensacola area continuously since 1968.  He has decades of experience in Admiralty and Maritime claims, as well as serious personal injury, wrongful death, and workers' compensation matters.  Mr. Merting has been appointed as a Mediator by Federal Judges, and he has been selected to mediate numerous complex maritime matters in his areas of expertise by attorneys in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and throughout Florida.

A three-time Director of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, Mr. Merting was elected Chairman for 2005, and is only the second plaintiff's lawyer to serve in this capacity in the Institute's 50+ year history.  Mr. Merting served as Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute in which council is composed of all of the former chairmen of the Institute.  His experience and reputation help each case get resolved in the most efficient manner possible.

Mr. Merting has been named as a Florida Super Lawyer for multiple years.  He is a member of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Brain Injury Trial Lawyers Association, and the Academy of Trial Advocacy.  All three professional organizations are limited to the premier trial attorneys in the country, and is by invitation only.

Mr. Merting holds the highest possible rating, A/V, from Martindale-Hubbell®, the nation's foremost attorney rating organization, and is listed in the national publication, Bar Register of Pre-Eminent Lawyers.  Mr. Merting has been a Sustaining Member of both the Florida Justice Association and the American Association for Justice for many years.

Mr. Merting has obtained recoveries for his clients for $5.4 Million plus $2 Million of maintenance and cure benefits, $3+ Million, $2.375 Million, $1.45 Million, and multiple other million dollar plus and six figure recoveries.

Areas of Practice

  • Admiralty & Maritime Law
  • Traumatic/Anoxic Brain Injuries
  • Offshore/Oil Rig/Supply Boat Injuries
  • Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Jones Act/Unseaworthiness Claims
  • Seaman's Claims
  • Recreational Boating/Diving Injuries/Personal Watercraft Claims
  • Workers' Compensation/On-the-Job Injuries
  • Career-Ending Injuries
  • Catastrophic Personal Injuries
  • Wrongful Death
  • Yacht Accidents
  • Cruise Ship Assaults
  • Cruise Ship Injuries
  • Tug Boat & Barge Accidents
  • Commercial Fishing Injuries
  • Shipyard, Dock & Pier Accidents
  • Passenger Injuries
  • Truck Accidents
  • Mediation
  • Longshore Claims

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Board Certified Admiralty and Maritime Law Attorney, , State Bar of Florida, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016

Bar Admissions

  • Florida, 1968
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 1969
  • Supreme Court of Colorado, 1992


  • University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia
    • J.D. - 1970
  • University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia
    • LL.B. - 1968
    • Honors: Editor, Virginia Law Weekly, 1967-1968
    • Honors: Student Delegate, American Bar Association, Honolulu, 1967
  • Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
    • A.B. cum laude - 1965
    • Honors: Rhodes Scholar nominee, 1964
    • Honors: Student Body President, 1964-1965
    • Honors: Florida State Gold Key
    • Honors: White House Conference for Distinguished Students, 1964
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa - National Scholarship Society

Published Works

  • Cross-Examination of Medical Experts, Handling Accident Cases, Albert Averbach, Supplement, 1993
  • Update on Handling Federal Tort Claims, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Breckenridge, Colorado, 1994
  • Structured Settlements, Annual Seminar, Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, Savannah, Georgia, 1995
  • Admiralty Law and Marine Insurance Consideration for Plaintiff Attorneys, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers Seminar, 1997
  • Boat Insurance - A Checklist, Escambia/Santa Rosa Bar Association, Pensacola, Florida, 2000
  • Admiralty Law Considerations for Personal Injury Attorneys, National Internet CLE, Celesq, Inc., 2000 to date
  • Federal Tort Claims Act Practice and Procedure, National Internet CLE, Celesq, Inc., 2000 to date
  • Maritime Law Update, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, 2001
  • Maritime Insurance - A Checklist and Other Legal Issues, Pensacola Yacht Club, Pensacola, FL, 2001
  • Maritime Insurance - A Checklist and Other Legal Issues, Fort Walton Power Squadron, 2002
  • Medicare Set-Asides - What You Must Know Before You Settle, Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute Annual Seminar, Atlanta, Georgia, 2003
  • Maritime Insurance - A Checklist and Other Legal Issues, Pensacola Power Squadron, 2003
  • Limiting Your Liability as a Surveyor in the High Seas of Litigation With Suggestions on Today's Marine Insurance Market that will be Value for all Boat Owners, Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) Regional Meeting, Panama City Beach, Florida, 2003
  • Personal Injury Medicare Set-Aside Requirements: What You Must Know (And Do) Before You Settle, American Association for Justice (formerly known as Association of Trial Lawyers of America), Toronto, Canada, 2005
  • Navigating in the Treacherous Waters of Medicare Liens (Secondary Payer Issues) and Medicare Set-Asides in Maritime Claims, Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute Annual Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2009
  • Navigating in the Treacherous Waters of Medicare Liens (Secondary Payer Issues) and Medicare Set-Asides, Sterling Education Services Advanced Workers' Compensation Seminar, Pensacola, Florida, 2010
  • Navigating in the Swill of the BP Spill of Medicare Liens (Secondary Payer Issues) and Medicare Set-Asides in Maritime Liability Claims, Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute Annual Seminar, Charleston, South Carolina, 2010
  • Medicare Set-Asides in Liability Cases from the Perspective of a Plaintiff's Attorney, Tulane Law School's Admiralty Law Institute, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2011
  • Boating Accidents: A Personal Injury Primer, National Business Institute, Teleconference, 2013
  • Representing the Brain Injured Client from the Perspective of a Plaintiff’s Attorney, Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute Annual Seminar, Port Clear, Alabama, 2015

Representative Clients

  • Pensacola Yacht Club


  • Synovus Bank (formerly Coastal Bank and Trust)

Honors and Awards

  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • Recipient, The Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award, 2000
  • Who's Who in the World, 1984
  • Who's Who in American Law, 1983
  • Who's Who in Florida, 1982
  • Outstanding Young Men of America, 1979
  • A/V Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in Bar Register of Pre-Eminent Lawyers
  • Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, 2018

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • National Brain Injury Trial Lawyers Association
  • The Florida Bar, Sections on Trial Lawyers, Member, Admiralty Committee
  • American Association for Justice, Stalwart Member; Sustaining Member
  • American Association for Justice, Admiralty Law, Member
  • Florida Justice Association (formerly Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers), Sustaining Member, 1976 - Present
  • Academy of Trial Advocacy (formerly Academy of Catastrophic Injury Attorneys), Member
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, Director, 1985-1987, 1989-1997; Treasurer, 2002; Secretary, 2003; Vice Chairman, 2004; Chairman, 2005
  • Maritime Law Association of United States, Proctor in Admiralty, 1989 - Present
  • Escambia/ Santa Rosa Bar Association, Member, Past Chairman-- Inter-Professional Relations Committee

Pro Bono Activities

  • Fiesta of Five Flags, Member, Board of Governors, 2005 - 2012, 2017-2018; named Don Tristan DeLuna XLVIII, 2017-2018
  • Pensacola Community Maritime Park, Trustee, 2005-2017
  • Pensacola Yacht Club, Fleet Counsel, Honorary Life Member, 1970 - Present
  • The Propeller Club of the United States, Bay Area Port of Historic Pensacola, Board of Governors , 2005 - 2013
  • Feeding the Gulf Coast, part of Feeding America - Florida Board


  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Lambda Chi Alpha