George Zeitler, MSc, has over 30 years of experience in the Marine Industry in various regulatory, management, and consulting roles. He is an Accredited Marine Surveyor (Y&SC) by the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors and a Member of the International Institute of Marine Surveying.
Background Experience - Mr. Zeitler served 18 years as a USCGMarine Inspector / Casualty Investigator, and 7 years as a Class Society principal surveyor (DNV). He then spent 1 year as VP of Operations for a niche cruise line. Mr. Zeitler went on to serve 5 years as a technical consultant for various segments of the marine industry, including 2 years as third party environmental auditor for criminal pollution cases. He has been an Accredited Yacht and Small Craft Surveyor for over 15 years.
In 2002, Mr. Zeitler formed Zeitler Marine Services (ZMS), using his experience and knowledge to offer condition and valuation (pre-purchase and insurance) and damage survey services to the yachting and recreational boating communities in south Florida. He is currently the Director of the Chapman School of Seamanship Yacht and Small Craft survey course.
Litigation Support - Mr. Zeitler uses his vast experience verifying Compliance with Applicable Maritime Laws / Regulations through on site surveys and audits of client's vessels. His years of operational and regulatory enforcement help provide clients with a unique perspective that is key in identifying vulnerabilities onboard vessels as well as gaps in policies and procedures. He functions as a Court Appointed Monitor in situations where vessel operators are negotiating a plea agreement for a DOJ-approved Environmental Compliance Programs.
Areas of Expertise:
Vessel Design and Construction
Vessel Compliance with International and US Laws and Regulations
Compliance with Federal and Voluntary (ABYC) Standards for Yachts and Small Craft
The public wants to know who is directly responsible for cruise ship safety. Well, the simple answer is that responsibility for safety starts and ends with ship owners and managers. However, owners often seek assistance from classification (class) societies in identifying and evaluating safety risks. Although often referenced in the maritime world, class society roles and responsibilities relating to vessel safety are not widely known.
The adoption of the International Safety Management Code by the International Maritime Organization as a means to promote a change in maritime industry’s attitude towards safe operating practices has been well documented. The code placed a strong level of responsibility on the ship owner or operator to conduct a self-assessment of their policies and practices in order to develop and implement a safety management
Gerald (Gerry) Nielsen, PMP, founder of Ocean Ridge Maritime, is a Project Management Professional with over 35 years of experience in the Commercial Maritime, Offshore, and Cruise Industries. Mr. Nielsen serves as an Expert Witness, Consultant, Project Manager, Surveyor, and Auditor for the Maritime and Offshore Industries.
A Project Management Professional (PMP) certification combined with a background that includes a USCG Chief Engineers license and experience in ISM/ISO Auditing, Marine Surveying, and Emergency Response, Mr. Nielsen provides professional and personalized service and support when needed.
Past Positions Include:
Rig Assurance, Preservation (Stacking), and Reactivations - Transocean Offshore Drilling
Global Consulting Operations (VP) - ABS Nautical Systems
Environmental and Safety Management (Director) - Cunard Line Limited
Designated Person Ashore - Cunard Line and Seabourn Cruise Line
New Construction Surveyor - American Bureau of Shipping
ISM / ISO Auditor - American Bureau of Shipping
Shipboard Engineer - Exxon Shipping Company and Global Marine Drilling
Litigation Support: Since the Exxon Valdez incident and response, through development of DOJ mandated Compliance Programs, to conducting ECP Audits as Third Party Auditor, Mr. Nielsen has been providing consulting services related to litigation. In recent years, Ocean Ridge Maritime has been engaged for Jones Act Injury Cases, Regulatory (Environmental) Compliance Audits, Technical Opinions related to Oil Spill damages, and MARPOL Compliance.
Gary Deel, Ph.D., J.D. has 10 years of experience in executive-level positions in the hospitality industry and 10 years of experience teaching hospitality management and law curriculum for some of the nation's top hotel schools.
Dr. Deel holds both a Ph.D. in Hospitality and a J.D. in Law, so he understands the nuances of expert witness testimony from the perspective of attorney strategy. He has also worked in a variety of different hospitality industry capacities including operations, sales, security and risk management, training and administration, and others. His services are available to help attorneys make the strongest possible arguments for clients in hospitality-related cases. Dr. Deel offers expert witness services nationwide in the areas of:
Travel and Tourism
Meetings and Events
Suit against Miami beach resort involving catastrophic injury in the ocean and hotel duty to warn about latent hazards known to hotel and not obvious to visitors (plaintiff).
Suit against Orlando city center convention hotel involving sexual assault of a minor guest by an employee and hotel duty to monitor employee whereabouts and activities (plaintiff).
Diana Price is President and CEO of Diana Price and Associates, a forensic travel consulting and litigation support firm. Diana serves as a Forensic Travel Expert Witness, Travel Investigator, Travel Litigation Consultant, and Expert Travel Consultant in cases involving international and domestic tourism and travel agency operations.
Background Experience - Ms. Price has over 30 years of experience in the travel industry. She has specialized knowledge in travel agent fiduciary relationship to client and seller of travel duty to inform. She is well versed in handling adverse situations that occur during a client’s trip. As a seasoned travel professional and knowledgeable travel industry expert witness, she has worked as a travel agent, tour operator, and cruise specialist.
Ms. Price has participated in approximately 200 cruises, land tours, inspections, seminars, and evaluations. She has worked in almost every area of travel agency operations including sales, end to end (inception to conclusion) service, marketing, travel advisor and manager training. She has worked with institutions including but not limited to, government consulates, tourist offices, cruise lines, and bus tours. As a senior leader at Automobile Club of Southern California, Ms. Price led 14 international retail travel agencies.
Diana Price is past president of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA) and former National Vice President of Education and Programs for FEWA.
Diana D. Price - Preparing for a High Value Case
Litigation Support - Diana D. Price is a highly prepared and uniquely qualified forensic travel expert who works with attorneys on behalf of individual clients, travel agents, tour operators, cruise lines, hotels, and other travel providers. She provides thorough reporting, depositions, and trial testimony as needed. Her assistance has been invaluable in helping attorneys resolve travel related disputes.
Areas of Expertise:
Tourism Customs and Practices
Travel Agent Fiduciary Duty
Legal Liability of Travel Agents
Duty of Care
Higher Standard of Care
Tour Operator Professional Standards
Seller of Travel Duty to Investigate, Inform, Disclose