Maritime

Practice Contacts

The attorneys in the Maritime practice group of Gordon & Rees handle casualty response, commercial transactions, litigation and counseling for all types of maritime businesses and insurers, including foreign and U. S. flag vessel interests, terminals, stevedoring companies, shipyards, ship repair facilities, marine construction companies, fishing vessels, fish processors, canneries, offshore operations, tug and tow operations, salvage and diving companies.

Our attorneys represent vessel owners, operators, charterers, non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs), and their insurers in all types of casualty work, including crew, harbor worker and passenger personal injury and death cases, collisions, pollution, groundings, charter party disputes, salvage, cargo claim and sexual assault matters.

We assist clients with vessel finance, crew desertions and stowaway issues and penalties, employment actions, marine insurance issues, customs work, drafting of bills of lading and charter parties, and a variety of transactional work. We have obtained security for clients through arrest and attachment of vessels, cargo, bunkers, bank accounts and other assets.

We are recommended counsel by international insurers for occupational disease claims filed against shipowners. As such, we represent more than 40 shipowners in asbestos, benzene, hearing loss and other occupational and environmental disease litigation.

We provide 24/7 emergency response and have handled the investigation of countless marine casualties, including collisions and allisions, groundings, water and air pollution incidents, personal injuries and deaths, stowaways, vessel arrests, cargo damage and seizures, government detentions, and hull and machinery incidents.

We are also experienced in drafting and/or negotiating a wide variety of marine and general business contracts such as vessel purchase and sale agreements, charter parties, passenger ticket contracts, terminal service agreements, berth assignments, bills of lading, towage contracts and maritime collective bargaining agreements.

In addition to dispute resolution, we assist clients with liability prevention by helping to identify risk factors discovered in our hazardous operation assessments, and we advise regarding safety issues and develop risk reduction measures.

Our lawyers have practiced before all of the Federal District Courts in California, all Superior Courts in San Francisco, as well as Los Angeles and San Diego and other Superior Courts throughout California. We have represented clients in cases in State and Federal Courts in Florida, Oregon, Illinois, Utah, Washington and Hawaii. We have argued cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the Court of International Trade. Our attorneys have been counsel of record in SouthWest Marine, Inc. v. Gizoni and John Papai v. Harbor Tug and Barge Company, both seminal maritime cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Our attorneys have filed Amicus Curiae briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in other significant maritime cases, and have argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals as well as California appellate courts.

We have appeared before and worked with numerous state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Transportation, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Federal Maritime Commission, Federal Maritime Administration, Customs and Border Protection Service (I.N.S.), the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture, Water Quality Control Board, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, CalTrans, The Ports of Oakland, San Francisco and Stockton.

The Maritime practice group consists of attorneys who have practical industry experience, and special academic training. For example, one of our lawyers is a former commercial and research diver. Another was in the U.S. Coast Guard. Most of our maritime attorneys hold the title of Proctor in Admiralty from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

Maritime Fast Facts

  • 23 Attorneys
  • Team includes a former Coast Guard Officer, former commercial and research diver, and many members of the group are Proctors in Admiralty and members of the Maritime Law Association of the U.S. since 1981.
  • Counseled clients involved in the 2008 West Coast Negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association members and various ILWU Locals, covering 26,000 ILWU-represented longshore workers at 29 west coast ports in California, Oregon, and Washington.
  • Listed correspondent counsel for a number of international underwriters.
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