Fisherman’s Law

Fishermen need a lawyer the same way they need a survival suit. Hopefully, you never have to use one. But if the time ever comes, you need one you can count on.

Few things can ruin a fishing season faster than a legal problem that goes unaddressed. Fishing permits, vessel documentation, insurance, employees and contracts all must be properly handled. Where infractions are alleged by ADF&G or the Coast Guard, fishermen face another potential minefield navigating the complexities of fishery regulations. When there are injuries at sea, vessel owners owe special rights to employees, and a failure to handle the situation properly can result in huge punitive damage awards.  Vessel casualties can result in massive liability. As we learned the hard way in 1989, sometimes a drunken fool can come along and in one fell swoop ruin things for everybody.

For all of these problems, a fishermen’s best protection is a good lawyer.

Anyone with a potential maritime case should consult with an attorney skilled in this unique field. Maritime law is fascinating, powerful, and often maddeningly arcane.  Maritime cases are full of potential pitfalls for attorneys who lack experience or training in special admiralty court procedures and legal doctrines, or the complicated ways maritime law interrelates with State, Federal and International law. By the same token, sometimes maritime law provides a simple and elegant solution to a dispute, where seeking to achieve the same thing in State or Federal court would be futile.

Let us help you get out from under the paperwork and back on the water.

Smitty