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REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

Maritime Disputes

Represented a global producer of high performance, specialty mineral products in an arbitration before the Society of Maritime Arbitrators, against a sovereign defendant who breached contractual obligations to deliver cargo in a timely manner. We negotiated and obtained a favourable settlement for our client.

Represented Owner and Operator of large fleet of tanker vessels engaged in fishing vessel replenishment operations in the Pacific Ocean. Defended clients in initial U.S. Coast Guard onboard criminal investigation and eventual U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecution of alleged environmental crimes, including illegal discharges of oily bilge waste from vessels calling at Hawaii and the presentation of an allegedly false Oil Record Book in Honolulu. We successfully negotiated a favorable Plea Agreement and Environmental Compliance Program with the U.S. government on behalf of our clients.

Represented the owner/operator of the SS El Faro, a U.S.-flag Ro-Ro/container vessel that sank in 2015 in Hurricane Joaquin in the Caribbean, resulting in a complete loss of the vessel, all cargo, and all 33 persons on board. Provided counsel in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation, the parallel National Transportation Safety Board investigation, and the civil limitation of liability proceeding in federal court.

Represented an entertainment and edutainment company that owned/operated an amphibious duck boat that sank on Table Rock Lake in Missouri in 2018, resulting in injuries and 17 deaths, in connection with investigations by the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation and Safety Board and a civil limitation of liability proceeding in federal court. 

Defended a final rule setting Great Lakes pilotage rates for the 2016 season from a challenge under the Administrative Procedure Act by shipping companies that pay the rates.

Represented a large international container leasing company in a container lease dispute with one of its customers, involving 10,000 leased containers, failure to pay as required under the contract, and failure to return the containers, in arbitration against the Chinese lessees in American Arbitration Association – International Center for Dispute Resolution seeking damages and return of the containers. 

Represented a world leader in the transportation of dry cargo in extensive negotiations with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control, which alleged that our client violated the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions Regulations, resulting in successful settlement. 

Represented a Detroit-based salt purchaser in an arbitration before the Society of Maritime Arbitrators, regarding a dispute that arose over a rock salt sales contract with a Swiss-based company. Obtained an award of US$618,000, defeated a counterclaim of nearly US$2 million, and assisted our client in its collection efforts, which resulted in the full amount being paid.

Represented the owner/operator of a custom catamaran yacht that was involved in a fire at a marina that resulted in a total loss of the yacht, personal injury to crew, property damage to the marina and nearby vessels, and environmental and salvage claims.

Represented a recreational boat manufacturer in a personal injury action for an accident that occurred in Lake Mead, Nevada. Secured a favorable court ruling holding that Lake Mead is a federal enclave and therefore supports removal to federal court. 
Represented an equipment manufacturer against claims for personal injury arising from asbestos exposure, most often alleged to have occurred on board ships (commercial or military) or in shipyards.

Represented a full-service commodities network in an arbitration before the Society of Maritime Arbitrators, where a vessel owner sought nearly US$200,000 in damages, achieving full dismissal of all claims, plus an award of fees.

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