American Bar Association
General Committees: Admiralty and Maritime Law
TIPS Section

General Committees:
Admiralty and Maritime Law

Letter from the Chair, Pamela Annette Palmer

Pam Palmer

Welcome to the Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee! Whether you are a seasoned practitioner, a young lawyer or simply interested in the practice of admiralty law, you have come to the right place. We offer numerous resources for the admiralty practitioner, including monthly conference calls on leadership opportunities and breaking admiralty issues, a quarterly newsletter, CLE, and resources to assist you in landing your next job or client.

With our committee’s access to the ABA’s policymaking branch, we have been on the front lines of legislative issues impacting the maritime industry. We are also regularly called upon to evaluate requests for the ABA to submit amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court on cases involving admiralty issues. Simply put, if you are a maritime practitioner or just interested in the practice, this is the place for you.

You can find us on the ABA TIPS AMLC page and on LinkedIn. If you have any questions or are interested in getting involved feel free to contact me at

Come check us out. We would love to hear from you.



Special Announcements

ABA TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee Meeting

September 18, 2014


Yaakov Adler, Twain Braden, Lizabeth L. Burrell, Philip C. Brickman, Blythe Daly, Eric S. Daniel, Robert L. Gardana, Sarah Yantakosol Gayer, Aaron Greenbaum, Christopher Hamilton, Darren L. Harrison, Grady S. Hurley, John D. Kimball, James P. Koelzer, Jessica Martyn, Donald “Andy” Mau, Madeline J. Meacham, Chris Nolan, Stephany Olsen-LeGrand, Pamela Palmer, Pamela L. Schultz, Ryan F. Tennant, William “Sandy” Welte

1. Introduction by Pam Palmer (

2. Maritime Law Association Developments and Fall Meeting Update by John Kimball (

John is the new liaison from the Maritime Law Association to the American Bar Association. The MLA Fall Meeting will take place in Philadelphia, PA from October 22-24, 2014. Committee Meetings will take place on Wednesday, October 22nd, and Thursday, October 23rd. The main events include:

Thursday, October 23rd at 1:00 p.m.

Tour of the former Philadelphia Navy Yard

Thursday, October 23rd at 6:00 p.m.

Cocktail Party at the Franklin Institute

Friday, October 24th at 9:30 a.m.

General Meeting at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall

Friday, October 24th at 2:00 p.m.

CLE program at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall. The Honorable Patty Shwartz of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals will discuss the Constitutional foundations of admiralty practice. Congressman Patrick Meehan, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies and member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, will discuss port and vessel security issues.

Friday, October 24th at 6:00 p.m.

MLA Fall Dinner in the Grand Overlook of the National Constitution Center

As usual, the Fall Meeting will include a range of Committee meetings. The meeting schedule is posted on the MLA website at

In addition, Chief Administrative Law Judge Walter J. Brudzinski sent a letter to the MLA concerning a pro bono opportunity for maritime lawyers willing to represent mariner-respondents of limited financial means in suspension and revocation hearings. The CALJ’s office wants to create a list of maritime lawyers willing to provide pro bono representation to these mariners, organized geographically, which it will then distribute to its field judges. For more information, please see

3. TIPS Law Journal Survey Issue Update by Jessica Martyn (

Jessica is currently recruiting authors for this year’s admiralty law survey article. The focus this year is on truly noteworthy decisions from the Courts of Appeal (or any areas of total disarray among the Circuits at the district court level) and regulatory changes.

If you are interested in being an author, please email Jessica at

4. Tulane Event Update by Chris Nolan (

Chris discussed how the Committee is hosting a Presentation of Selected Works from the Tulane Maritime Law Journal on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. at Liskow & Lewis in New Orleans. This event gives law students at Tulane an opportunity to present to their papers and meet maritime attorneys and members of the industry. The selected works include:

· Allison Fish, The Potential Application of 18 U.S.C. 1115 to Offshore Drilling Disasters: A Requiem for the Seaman's Manslaughter Act

· Albert Farr, Federal Income Taxes and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Marine Transportation: A Critique of U.S.-Owned, U.S. Flagged Vessel's International Shipping Income

· David Freedman, A Court for Incarus: Defining Maritime Tort Jurisdiction in Aircraft Crash Cases

· Bryan Kitz, Widening Gyre: The Seaman's Uncertain and Expanding Right to Unearned Wages

· Katherine Wiarda, The Problem is in the Proof: How Public Companies Can Prove Compliance with the Jones Act Vessel Citizenship Requirements for Eligibility in the U.S. Coastwise Trade

Please RSVP to

5. Vessel Arrest CLE Update by Bob Gardana (

Bob is currently planning a vessel arrest CLE that may take place in two parts. The first part may take place in January in Miami, Florida and will focus on arresting yachts. Bob is currently trying to obtain the participation of the U.S. Marshal Service to discuss the common pitfalls in vessel arrests. Bob has confirmed the following speakers: Robert Toney with National Maritime Services will provide the perspective of substitute custodian and Michelle Otero Valdez and Robert Gardana will discuss common pitfalls regarding vessel arrests.

The second part will take place in conjunction with the February meeting in Houston. Richard Branca may take over the second part of program to focus on ship arrests. The vessel arrest CLE is still in the planning stage and some planning has been put on hold while Bob receives input from ABA regarding cost factors.

6. TIPS Napa Fall Meeting Update by Pam Palmer

Our next meeting will take place at the ABA TIPS Fall Leadership meeting in Napa on Thursday, October 16th at 1:00 p.m. Please let Pam know if you will be attending in person.

7. ACI Admiralty Conference Update by Chris Nolan (

The American Conference Institute’s 4th Annual Forum on Admiralty & Maritime Claims and Litigation is scheduled for February 4-5, 2015 in Houston, Texas. Chris Nolan and Pam Palmer are the co-chairs. This comprehensive conference will include panels on punitive damages following McBride, 5 years after Jaldhi the impact on security and arrests, the 25th anniversary of Oil Pollution Act, and much more. Confirmed in-house, insurance interests, and Club folks total 26 and counting. This conference will match up exactly with the ABA TIPS Admiralty Committee mid-year meeting in Houston with great programs being planned, including a port tour. For more details, please see:

8. ABA Houston Mid-Year Meeting Update by Pam Palmer

As discussed above, the second part of the vessel arrest CLE may take place at the ABA Midyear meeting in Houston, Texas at Richard Branca’s firm or at another venue depending upon the expected turnout. The Committee is interested in co-sponsoring the CLE event with local maritime organization similar to the co-sponsorship at the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston.

9. Annual Meeting CLE – Chicago 2015 Update by Palmer Palmer and Andy Mau

Andy discussed how the AMLC is starting to organize a potential CLE regarding settlement agreements. He discussed how this is particularly timely given BP’s actions towards its settlement agreement. BP agreed to a settlement in 2012 to settle the majority of claims against them and since then have tried to dismantle the settlement agreement. BP applied for a stay with the Supreme Court which was denied. This CLE is fundamentally about contract law and the methods available to dissolve or prevent the dissolution of settlement agreements. The Business Litigation Committee is interested in co-sponsoring this CLE with the AMLC.

10. Young Lawyer Writing Competition (Jessica Martyn)

The AMLC has applied for a grant through TIPS to conduct this competition again.

11. Law Student Writing Competition Update by Jim Koelzer (

Jim discussed how the Committee will start recruiting articles and announce the winner by the end of April or the beginning of May. The winner will then be published in the AMLC newsletter and offered an opportunity to attend an ABA AMLC meeting. He stated that this is a good way to become involved in the AMLC and that he could use help with reviewing the articles and that someone will have to take over this project. For more information, please contact Jim.

12. Other Business: Pacific Admiralty Conference Update by Pamela Schultz and Fall Newsletter Update by Chris Nolan

Pamela mentioned that the Pacific Admiralty Conference is to take place on October 7, 2014 in San Francisco. For more details see,

Chris stated that the Fall Newsletter will be published before the Fall meeting in Napa and will include the winning submissions from the AMLC/SEALI Young Lawyer Writing Competition and the AMLC Law Student Writing Competition.


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Modified by Sarah Gayer on October 24, 2014

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