Download Vitae Download High Resolution Photo

John Thomas, J.D.

Department Chair


HM 362


305-919-4544 (FIU)
305-519-5116 (Cellular)



J.D. in Law, 1978
School of Law, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida

B.A. in Earth Sciences, 1971
Dartmouth College, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire


  • Arbitration
  • Coastal and Ocean Law
  • Cruise Line Management
  • Doing business in Cuba
  • Environmental Law
  • Gaming Law
  • Hospitality Law
  • International Trade
  • Maritime Law/ Cruise Ship Law
  • Negotiations
  • Travel Law


  • Hospitality Industry Law
  • Travel Industry Law
  • Hospitality Law Seminar


  • Tuesday from 8:30:00 AM to 9:30:00 AM in HM 362
  • Wednesday from 10:00:00 AM to 1:30:00 PM in HM 362
  • Tuesday from 2:00:00 PM to 3:30:00 PM in HM 362


Published or Accepted Refereed Journal Publications

LastName, FirstInitial., (e.g. Smith, J.), Thomas, J., Zeng, E. & Thomas, J.H., Kitterlin, M., Chang, S.H., Williams, J. (2015). Bitcoin: Legal Issues and Usage in the Hospitality Industry, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Cases. 4.1.

Thomas, J., Kitterlin, M., Lorenzo, D. (2015). Cuba's Future Hospitality and Tourism Business: Opportunities and Obstacles, Cornell Hospitality Reports. .

Lauderdale, M., Thomas, J. (2009). Are you gambling with your business? What you should know about legal differences between gaming ashore and afloat., Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing. .

Dev, C.K., Thomas, J., Buschman, J., Anderson, E. (2010). Brand Rights and Hotel Management Agreements, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. .

Thomas, J., Anderson, A. (2004). Salvage, Maritime Law and Practice, 4th edition. .

Submitted Refereed Journal Publications

Thomas, John H., Thomas, J., Anderson, Andrew W. Salvage. Submitted to Maritime Law and Practice, 5th Edition.


Thomas, J., Kitterlin, M, Lorenzo, D. (2015). Cuba's Future Hospitality and Tourism Business, International ICHRIE Conference. Orlando, Florida, USA, 07/30/2015.


Thomas, J., Thomas, J., McLeod, M. (2012-2013). Discussion of case accepted by United States Supreme Court on meaning of , Florida Bar Admiralty Law Committee. Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 09/20/2012.

Thomas, J., Thomas, J., Pucciarelli, A, & Hoffman, W. (2012-2013). Termination of Hotel Management Agreements, Hospitality Law Conference 2013. Houston, Texas, USA, 02/11/2013.

Thomas, J., Thomas, J. (2012-2013). Legal Implications of Carnival Triumph and Costa Concordia cruise line incidents , International Federation onTravel & Tourism Advocates, North American Conference. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, 02/22/2013.

Thomas, J. (2013-2014). Bitcoin Payments in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Businesses, International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, 03/07/2014.

Thomas, J. (2014-2015). Marijuana Tourism - Legal Issues, International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, .

Thomas, J. (2015-2016). Chinese Influence on Tourism in Cuba, International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, 03/11/2016.

Thomas, J. (2015-2016). Chinese influence in Cuba, FIU Revenue Management Conference. Miami, Florida, USA, April 7 to April 8, 2016.

Thomas, J. (2015-2016). Opening of Cuba: Cruise Ships, Pleasure Yachts and Cargo Trade, Florida Bar Admiralty Law Committee. Orlando, Florida, USA, 06/15/2016.

Feinberg, R. & Newfarmer, R., Thomas, J., Duany, J., Espino, M. & Thomas, J.H. (2016-2017). Tourism in Cuba: Riding the Wave Toward Sustainable Prosperity, Presentation and discussion of paper sponsored by The Brookings Institution and FIU Kimberly Green LACC. Miami, Florida, USA, 01/19/2017.

Thomas, J. (2016-2017). Marine Salvage, Florida Bar Admiralty Law Committee. Miami, Florida, USA, 01/31/2017.

Thomas, J. (2016-2017). Legal Issues of Robotics in Hospitality and Tourism, International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates, North America Section. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, 03/10/2017.



John H. Thomas Biographical Summary

John H. Thomas is an Assistant Professor at the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Florida International University, Miami, Florida.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Miami School of Law.  After more than thirty years as a practicing attorney in Miami, he began teaching as an adjunct professor at FIU in 2006, then joined the faculty full time in 2008.

Dr. Thomas was a partner at several law offices during his legal career, practicing in both transactions and litigation.  He is a member of the bar of the State of Florida, as well as several Federal jurisdictions including the United States Court of International Trade.  He has earned Board Certification in Admiralty and Maritime Law by The Florida Bar and has served as Chair of The Florida Bar Admiralty Law Committee.

Dr. Thomas is especially knowledgeable regarding international law and business transactions, having extensive experience in international trade, travel, shipment of cargo, and regulations for cruise ships, cargo ships, aircraft, yachts and passengers.  He has provided legal services and counsel to individuals, organizations, small and large businesses, cruise lines, banks, insurers, and owners of yachts, ships and aircraft of all sizes.  In representation of parties in the purchase and operation of cruise ships, he has undertaken casino licensing, ship registration, operational certificates, and personnel and vendor contracts.  He has litigated numerous cases involving personal injuries, contract disputes and government regulations.  

Dr. Thomas is an advocate of alternative dispute resolution, particularly by mediation or arbitration.  He was a founder, and first president, of the Miami Maritime Arbitration Council. He has participated in arbitration of numerous disputes, both as counsel and as an appointed arbitrator.

Dr. Thomas is an active member of the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Educators,, International Travel and Tourism Advocates, Miami International Arbitration Society, and the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute.  He has served on several governmental committees to recommend marine environmental protection regulations.

Dr. Thomas has authored materials and presented lectures on a wide range of topics for both lawyers and industry professionals.  Publications include articles in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Cornell Hospitality Research Reports and the Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing.

© 2013 Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Designed By: Dale Gomez. Maintained by: Hospitality Technology Services