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Time for Fishing Industry to Get Behind Immigration Reform

The Alaska fishing industry tests the metal of American workers. Anyone who has watched “The Deadliest Catch” can appreciate the extraordinary demands of shipboard labor in the North Pacific. Not only crabbers but trawlers, longliners and processors are subjected to long hours in an environment more stressful than any encountered elsewhere in the civilian workplace…. Read More

Reckless Disregard for Seaman’s Rights – Punitive Damages

Admiralty law is steeped in tradition. Many of its principles derive from sources as ancient as the maritime code of the Isle of Rhodes. But in the past two decades, the law of maritime personal injury has been in flux. The pivot point is the U.S. Supreme Court case of Miles v. Apex Marine Corp.,… Read More

Alaska Marine Highway System Claims Fast Ferries Have Defective Engines-AMHS v. Derecktor and MTU Friedrichshafen

Moving vessels Fairweather and Chenega are Alaska Marine Highway System’s (AMHS) first “fast” ferries. They are 235-foot long aluminum-hulled catamarans with standard service speeds of 32 knots. These ferries carry up to 250 passengers and 36 vehicles at a time. Their interior spaces have a combination of reclining airline-style seats, tables, video games, and full… Read More

Dutch Harbor Clinic Denies T.V. Access

The Iliuliuk Family and Health Services clinic in Dutch Harbor has been caring for injured fishermen for decades. It is a beacon of compassion and competence in the North Pacific. It’s commitment to professionalism is reflected in its decision not to permit a T.V. show to invade the privacy of the clinic. The Deadliest Catch’s… Read More

Forum Selection — A Thumb on Carnival’s Side of the Scale of Justice

As noted in our last blog post, in the 1991 U.S. Supreme Court case of Carnival Cruise Lines v. Shute, a “choice of forum” clause in a cruise ship ticket was upheld. In dissent, Mr. Justice John Paul Stevens explained the purpose of choice of forum clauses like the one contained in the COSTA CONCORDIA… Read More

Factory Trawler Takes on Water at Dock in Seattle

The ARICA, a factory trawl fishing vessel at a dry dock on the east side of Lake Union, began taking on water one day last week. Crews members were pumping out water from the boat when they lost power and called the Seattle Fire Department around 5:15 a.m. Fire department crews arrived and began helping… Read More

“Deadliest Catch” — Crab Fishing Now Less Dangerous (Marginally)

The captain of the Alaska crabber SEABROOKE recently wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. He extolled the benefits of the recently adopted quota system in the Bering Sea crab fishery. He states: “In 2010, commercial fishing once again topped the list of deadliest jobs in the U.S. According to the Bureau of… Read More

NTSB Issues Report on F/V KATMAI Sinking

The NTSB recently completed its investigation into the sinking of the Fishing Vessel Katmai on October 22, 2008. The National Transportation Safety Board released their report on the disaster, and it concluded that the boat had a number of stability problems that made it unable to withstand extreme storm conditions in the Bering Sea. As… Read More

NTSB Makes Fishing Industry Safety Recommendations

Before the LADY MARY sank off Cape May, N.J., in 2009 with the loss of six lives, it had been structurally modified “without consulting a naval architect,” federal safety officials said. The scallop trawler’s owners hadn’t assessed its stability. The crew didn’t realize the importance of keeping the vessel watertight during severe weather. And the… Read More

Supreme Court Helps Injured Seamen — CSX v. McBride

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court preserved a legal rule which has for 50 years helped railway workers and Jones Act seamen recover fair compensation for their injuries. Despite a vigorous dissent by the Chief Justice, the majority in CSX Transportation, Inc. v. McBride held that if employer negligence plays any part in causing injury to… Read More

Client Testimonials

  • The Maritime Law Association of The United States
    The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) was founded in 1899. Its formation was prompted by the organization, some three years earlier, of the International Maritime Committee.
  • Washington State Bar Association
    The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state's nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals.
  • Oregon State Bar
    The Oregon State Bar is a government agency in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1890 as the private Oregon Bar Association, it became a public entity in 1935 that regulates the legal profession.
  • Alaska Bar Association
    The Alaska Bar Association is a mandatory bar association responsible to the Alaska Supreme Court for the admission and discipline process of attorneys for the State of Alaska.