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

Admiralty Practice in the 21st Century: Navigating Which Circuit Splits Will Lead to a Supreme Court Review

For those who missed the ABA TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee's program at the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston, the recording and slides are available here: Admiralty Practice in the 21st Century

ABA TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee November Meeting November 20, 2014


Eric S. Daniel, Mark DiCicco, Ted Dunlap, Bartley J. Eckhardt, Sarah Yantakosol Gayer, Rebecca Hamra, Cynthia Hudson, James P. Koelzer, Daniel Maland, Jessica Martyn, Donald “Andy” Mau, Pamela Palmer, Pamela L. Schultz, Ryan F. Tennant, Ray Waid, Christine Walker, Matthew Waters

1. Introduction by Jessica Martyn (

2. Maritime Cyber Security by Cynthia Hudson

Cynthia is the CEO of Hudson Analytix. She discussed how maritime cyber security is a very hot topic, given the use of GPS, Marine Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), and Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems. She stated that many people do not realize how much of a risk this poses for the maritime industry but there are only two types of organizations: those that know they have been hacked and those that do not. She stated that the key thing is to identify the threats and vulnerabilities, and then assess what the priorities are in terms of mitigation. She stated that hacking is not just one sort of criminal activity. Instead, hacking can include a young student simply doing something for fun, a competitor getting into your information and stealing intellectually protected information, or people using the cyber vehicle to create physical issues. Earlier this year hackers shut down a floating oil rig by tilting it, another rig was so riddled with computer malware it took 19 days to make it seaworthy again, and Somali pirates were able to prompt ships to turn off their navigational devices or fake data so it looked like they were somewhere else. She stressed that, as attorneys, we need to protect our clients by making sure they are aware of these issues, advising them that they may have security gaps, and assisting them in finding the right people to assess and identify those gaps.

Click here for more information about HudsonAnalytix.

3. Deepwater Horizon and Settlements CLE at Annual Meeting in Chicago 2015 by Pam Palmer (

Pam discussed how the AMLC is planning to sponsor a CLE at the 2015 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago regarding the enforcement and dissolution of settlement agreements in light of what has happened with the BP settlement. The AMLC just has been informed that not only has the idea been approved by the ABA, but the ABA is considering having it as the “Presidential Showcase” CLE at the ABA Annual Meeting. The AMLC is now focused on identifying speakers. The AMLC may need to find one additional speaker, located in the Chicago area, regarding settlement of mass tort cases.

If you have any suggestions, please contact Pam at

4. ABA Houston Mid-Year Meeting Planning by Ray Waid (

Ray is working with Robert Gardana and Royston Rayzor to present a vessel arrest CLE with a particular focus on issues faced in Houston. This CLE will be fairly short, probably 1 to 1.5 hours and similar to the AMLC CLE held in August in Boston. The CLE will be recorded. The AMLC is also organizing a social event or port tour in conjunction with the CLE.

If anyone has any suggestions, please contact Ray at

5. Tulane/ALI Seminar by Jim Koelzer (

Jim stated that the Tulane seminar is scheduled for March 2015 in New Orleans. The seminar usually takes place over 2 ½ days and consists of a general topic and a series of very detailed academic presentations and papers which are then published by the Tulane Law Review. It is a very detailed, high level educational process. People who tend to go to it are senior maritime lawyers and insurance industry people. The presenters are top in their field. Once the schedule is finalized, the AMLC will plan a social event.

6. Law Student Writing Competition by Jim Koelzer (

Jim stated that the rules for the competition have just been redrafted. The AMLC will start promoting the competition in January. Chris Hamilton and Yaakov Adler will help Jim put it together, advertise and review the submissions.

7. Young Lawyer Writing Competition by Pam Palmer (

Pam stated that the AMLC organized the competition for the first time last year in conjunction with SEALI. The hope is that this will become an annual event. The ABA has already given the AMLC approval and the AMLC is waiting to hear from SEALI to see if they will co-sponsor the competition this year.

8. Miami Event by Ray Waid (

Ray stated that Bob Gardana has done a great job putting together the Miami regional event. On January 21, 2015 from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the University of Miami Law School the AMLC and the Florida Bar Association Admiralty Committee are going to co-host a CLE focusing on recent developments in maritime law and recreational vessel arrests. The speakers will include a U.S. Marshal and will explore the relevant rules of procedure, problems with vessel arrests in the past and practical considerations when arresting a vessel. At this point, the CLE is scheduled, the room is booked, and the AMLC is looking for law firm sponsorship for a reception. The AMLC expects 80-90 people will attend given that it is scheduled in conjunction with the Florida State Bar Association meeting.

9. Other Business by Pam Palmer (

The Massachusetts Mariners Club is planning a full day CLE on April 2, 2015 which will include a panel of Club representatives and domestic insurers. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

ABA TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee Meeting

October 16, 2014


Peter Black, Philip C. Brickman, Eric S. Daniel, Robert L. Gardana, Sarah Yantakosol Gayer, Grady S. Hurley, James P. Koelzer, Madeline J. Meacham, Brian Miller, Chris Nolan, Pamela Palmer, Douglas W. Truxillo, Ray Waid

1. Introduction by Pam Palmer (

2. Tulane Event Update by Ray Waid (

Ray 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.

3. Miami Regional Event Update by Robert Gardana (

Robert is currently planning a vessel arrest CLE to take place in January in Miami, Florida that will focus on arresting yachts. Robert will be a speaker and has obtained the participation of: (1) the U.S. Marshall Service to discuss the common pitfalls in vessel arrests; (2) Robert Tooney with National Maritime Services to provide the perspective of the substitute custodian; and (3) Michelle Otero Valdez to discuss the economic concerns with vessel arrests. Robert is currently confirming the location for the CLE. He is also confirming whether or not there will be any involvement or co-sponsorship with the Federal Bar Association or a local maritime organization.

There may be a second vessel arrest CLE that will focus on ship arrests at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Houston in February at Royston Rayzor.

4. TIPS Law Journal Survey Issue Update by Pam Palmer (

The survey article will be submitted to the ABA TIPS Journal on November 14th. 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. The specific topics include: the LHWCA Situs test; post-Kirby treatment of the Shipping Act and Carmack Amendment; the fair opportunity doctrine and interpretation of Safe Port and Safe Berth warranties in charter parties; effects of amendments to the removal statute; seamen’s rights to recover punitive damages for employers’ willful and wanton failure to make the vessel seaworthy; and maritime alter ego and fraudulent conveyance.

5. ABA Houston Mid-Year Meeting and ACI Admiralty Conference Update by Pam Palmer (

The American Conference Institute’s 4th Annual Forum on Admiralty & Maritime Claims and Litigation is scheduled for February 4-5, 2015 in Houston, Texas which matches up nicely with the ABA Midyear Meeting which is scheduled for February 5-8, 2015. Given the convenient scheduling of the ACI Conference occurring right before the ABA meeting and the great location in the port city of Houston, the Committee would like to plan a CLE and/or social event. The Committee discussed potentially having a port tour and the scheduling, logistical and financial issues associated with such event. Other ideas included having part two of the vessel arrest CLE with a focus on ship rather than recreational vessels at a local law firm with co-sponsorship with a local maritime organization similar to the co-sponsorship at the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston.

For more details about the ACI Admiralty Conference, please see: ACI Admiralty & Maritime Claims and Litigation

6. BP Settlement CLE

The Committee is beginning to plan a CLE to be co-sponsored with the Business Litigation Committee at the ABA Annual Meeting regarding the enforcement and dissolution of settlement agreements in light of what has happened with the BP settlement. This CLE really will be about contract law and the methods available to dissolve or prevent the dissolution of settlement agreements.

7. Membership Drive

8. TIPS Napa Fall Meeting Events

October 16th at 6:30 p.m. Welcome Reception at Crush Ultra Lounge

October 17th at 2:30 p.m. Wine Tasting at Del Dotto Wine Cave

October 17th at 6:00 p.m. Dinner at Bottega Ristorante with Business Litigation Committee and Appellate Practice Committee

October 18th at 6:00 p.m. TIPS Reception and Dinner at Trinitas Estate Wine Cave

9. Other Business

The future ABA and TIPS Meetings for 2015 are as follows:

ABA Midyear Meeting: February 2015 in Houston, Texas

TIPS Section Conference: April 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

ABA Annual Meeting: July 2015 in Chicago, Illinois

TIPS Fall Leadership Meeting: October 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona

ABA Midyear Meeting: February 2016 in San Diego, California

ABA Annual Meeting: August 2016 in San Francisco, California


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Palmer, Pamela


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Modified by Carlos Vivanco on November 24, 2014

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