Ricardo J. Cata
Mediator and Arbitrator

Ricardo Cata practiced law as a civil litigator and trial lawyer in South Florida for 38 years. His mediation practice focuses on construction and design defects; commercial, franchise and contractual disputes; cross-border disputes (in litigation or arbitration); aviation and maritime claims; general, hotel and resort, product, and premises liability; medical malpractice; and wrongful death. Ricardo is able to mediate in the Spanish language. He is certified to mediate civil cases by the U.S. District Court, Southern and Middle Districts of Florida. Ricardo is also a member of the American Arbitration Association’s Mediator Panel and Roster of Neutrals, a Florida Supreme Court Approved Arbitrator, and member ICDR Cruise Line and Seafarer Arbitrator Panel (CL & SAP).

Ricardo’s legal practice at Wilson Elser's Miami office focused on various areas of liability. He represented hotels, resorts and tour operators from Latin America in litigation filed in Florida’s circuit and federal courts, obtaining several dismissals on the basis of forum non conveniens or lack of personal jurisdiction. Ricardo also handled lawsuits representing domestic and international manufacturers of products over allegations of design and/or manufacturing defects, and he represented U.S. and Latin American clients in commercial disputes. He also represented clients in cases involving allegations of design and construction defects, as well as in franchising and maritime disputes, and defended medical doctors and chiropractors in professional liability lawsuits.

A native of Cuba, Ricardo is bilingual in Spanish and English, has an understanding of the culture and business environment in Latin America, and has traveled widely in that region.

Professional Education and Qualifications

B.A. ~ Long Island University, 1972, summa cum laude
J.D. ~ St. John’s University School of Law, 1975
M.A. ~ University of Miami Graduate School of International Studies

  • Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator
  • American Arbitration Association Mediator Panel and Roster of Neutrals
  • Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated
  • International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR)’s Advanced Commercial Mediation Training, 2013
  • ABA, Section of Dispute Resolution’s Advanced Mediation Training, 2013
  • Florida Supreme Court Approved Arbitrator, 2015
  • Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices for New AAA Arbitrators, 2015
  • CIArb’s Introduction to International Arbitration, 2015

Bar Admissions

  • The Florida Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, District of Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Memberships

  • American Bar Association: Sections of Dispute Resolution and International Law
  • Miami International Arbitration Society, founding member, international arbitration and mediation
  • The Florida Bar: Alternative Dispute Resolution and International Law Sections
  • AAA Mediator, listed on
  • Chair, Mediation Committee, Florida Bar’s International Law Section, 2015
  • AAA Roster of Neutrals
  • ICDR Cruise Line and Seafarer Arbitrator Panel (CL & SAP)

Ricardo's profile in Spanish

Ricardo's CV in English

Ricardo's CV in Spanish