Thomas W. Snook

Snook Dispute Resolution

Miami, Florida 33180


Admiralty Law, Boating Accident, Business, Commercial, Construction, Contract, Environmental, Maritime, Partnership Disputes, Personal Injury, Professional Malpractice

Mediator - Arbitrator (2016 - Present)

Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator and Certified Circuit Civil Mediator

United States Administrative Law Judge, Social Security Administration, Miami, Florida (1997 - 2016)

Admiralty and Maritime Attorney, Hayden & Milliken, Coral Gables, Florida, (1994 - 1997)

Staff Judge Advocate, Atlantic Area, Atlantic Area, New York, N.Y., U.S. Coast Guard, (1991 - 1993)              

Advisor, Political and Security Affairs, United States Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York, N.Y.  (1989 - 1991)

Chief Trial Judge, U. S. Coast Guard (1988-1989)

Special Court-Martial Judge (collateral duty), U. S. Coast Guard, (1983 - 1988)

Staff Judge Advocate, Eighth District, Eighth Coast Guard District, New Orleans, La.  (1983 - 1988)

Trial Attorney, Admiralty and Shipping Section, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.  (1979 - 1981)

Staff Judge Advocate to Vice Admiral in charge of the largest Coast Guard field command, Supervised a twenty-attorney legal office

Advisor in the Political Section.  Special Assistant to the Ambassador on Law of the Sea Issues.  Executive Officer for the Special Political Committee.

Legal Organizations

American Bar Association, 1974 - Present

               Judicial Division Delegate and Delegate at Large to the ABA

House of Delegates 2011- Present

Chair, National Conference of Administrative Law Judiciary, Judicial Division 2010 - 11

Maritime Law Association, Proctor 1974 - Present

Federal Bar Association 1974 - Present

Association of Administrative Law Judges

                IFPTE, AFL-CIO 1997 - 2016

Treasurer, 2004 to 2010

Regional VP 1999 - 2004, 2014 - 2016

New York

District of Columbia

Louisiana (inactive)


Civic Organizations

Gables Good Government Committee, Treasurer, 2016 - Present

Miami-Dade Human Rights Commission Board, 2017 - Present

American Legion, Life Member

VFW, Life Member


United States Coast Guard Academy, B.S., 1967

Syracuse University School of Law, J.D. (with honors) 1974

New York University, L.L. M. (International Legal Studies) 1977


U.S. Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medal, Commendation and Achievement Medals

U.S. Coast Guard Combat Action Ribbon (Vietnam)

Invited by Congress to testify on Improving the SS Disability Program (June 23, 2013)

ABA Sustaining Life Fellow

ABA Distinguished Service Award (for Hurricane Andrew relief effort while on active duty)

Superior Honor Award, Department of State

Editor-in-Chief, Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce

National Semi-Finalist, International Moot Court

Admiralty Law and Conflicts-of-Law Awards, Syracuse Law School

Chemistry Award, U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Mr. Snook graduated from Syracuse University Law School with honors and was editor-in-chief of the international law journal.  During his first legal assignment on Governors Island, N.Y., he obtained a master's degree in international law from New York University, where he took an admiralty law course and was mentored by Nick Healy, a renowned admiralty law scholar.

His Coast Guard legal assignments include trial and defense counsel; government appellate counsel; assignment to the Department of Justice as a trial attorney litigating mainly oil pollution cases, including at the time the largest oil spill in United States history (NEPCO 140); staff judge advocate to Commander, Eighth District in New Orleans; assignment to the United States Mission to the United Nations as a Law of the Sea advisor; special court-martial judge; Chief Trial Judge and staff judge advocate to Commander, Atlantic Area.

While serving as the staff judge advocate in New Orleans, he taught "Governmental Regulation of Shipping and Commerce" in the graduate maritime law program at Tulane University.

After retiring from the Coast Guard he was an attorney in a marine insurance defense firm in Miami for three years, which included being the oil pollution representative for Skuld in Florida, before being appointed a United States Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration in Miami.

As a judge for SSA for twenty years he has conducted thousands of non-adversarial disability hearings. He is a recognized expert on the disability system. He was invited by Congress to testify on reforming the disability system. His testimony led to his photograph being featured on the front page of the Sunday Washington Post in an article about the disability system backlog.

Lawyers would often ask him about becoming a judge. His initial response was always the same: "If you like people, being on the bench is the best part of the job."  The same can be said for Mediation.

1454 Mendavia Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33146

P: 305-773-1065
E: [email protected]