Overview

We draft and negotiate maritime contracts and represent carriers and shippers before state and federal courts and agencies. Our experience spans a wide array of admiralty and maritime matters, including toxic tort litigation for more than 200 shipowners across the United States.

Earning national recognition recently in the inaugural edition of "Best Law Firms," a report released by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers, we rank as a National Tier 1 practice. Rankings were determined from a survey of thousands of law firm clients and lawyers on such criteria as expertise, responsiveness, understanding of a business and its needs, cost-effectiveness, civility and whether a client or lawyer would refer business to a firm.

In addition to handling toxic tort litigation for more than 200 ship owners across the United States, we are experienced in a wide variety of admiralty matters:

  • Jones Act and other personal injury defense
  • Charter parties
  • Contracts of affreightment
  • Float agreements
  • Vessel documentation
  • Hull and cargo damage
  • Collisions
  • Allisions
  • Marine insurance
  • Environmental
  • Coast Guard matters
Experience
Representative Experience
  • Negotiating vessel sales, purchases and charters and secured financing, including first preferred ship mortgages, and handling vessel documentation matters.
  • Advising clients on matters relative to other maritime statutes and laws, including cargo liability governed by the U.S. Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) and the coastwise trades regulated under the Jones Act.
  • Representing a shipowner before en banc Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in holding that seamen cannot recover for heart attack due to work-related stress.
  • Representing shipowners before Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in holding that, as a matter of law, seamen cannot recover punitive damages from a shipowner-employer under Jones Act or for unseaworthiness.
  • Playing an instrumental role in achieving partial deregulation of the U.S. international ocean liner industry through adoption of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998 (OSRA).
  • Participating in every rulemaking proceeding initiated by the Federal Maritime Commission to implement OSRA. Consequently, our maritime practitioners are known throughout the nation for their work with respect to U.S. regulation of the ocean liner industry.
  • Representing shipowners before Washington Court of Appeals, resulting in a favorable ruling on accrual of statute of limitations in seamen's toxic exposure cases.
  • Representing a shipowner before Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in its holding that the dock owner was obligated to indemnify the shipowner for the death of a seaman who fell from the dock, notwithstanding shipowner negligence that contributed to the fall.
  • Representing a shipowner before the Ohio Court of Appeals, resulting in vacating $1.8 million personal injury verdict as excessive due to passion and prejudice of jury.
  • Representing a shipowner in negotiations with the Department of Justice resulting in satisfactory resolution of $3.5 million claim for oil pollution cleanup expenses from sunken vessel.
  • Representing a shipowner in defense of seaman's claim of career-ending back injury, resulting in jury verdict for shipowner.