16 SUPERLAWYERS.COM AT TORNE YS SELEC TED TO SUPER LA WYERS WERE CHOSEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCESS ON PAGE 25.
them to take the admiralty law course,
even if they’re not interested, because it
pulls together so many different aspects:
contract law, construction law, tort law,
administrative law, constitutional law,
environmental law. It’s all there.
Q: So what makes a good maritime lawyer?
A: You have to be a good lawyer, period. I
think one of the most important things is
listening. You have to not only be able to
know the law, but you have to understand
what it is that happened and what it is that
people have to say in trying to understand
the consequence of a particular case.
You also have to be willing to roll up your
sleeves and dig into the facts and dig into
the case law, particularly applicable to a
maritime lawyer, because those sorts of
casualties are fact-intensive. We spend a
lot of time going out investigating. Going
on board the vessels, going down to the
docks, talking to the people involved.
There’s a lot of hands-on work.
Q: You have a very commanding
speaking manner. That’s got to help.
A: That’s funny to hear. You know, in the
submarine force, one of the things we
did was communicate with essentially
underwater walkie-talkies, but instead of
radio waves, it was sound waves. Sonar.
That’s how you could communicate from
one submerged boat to a surface vessel or
one submerged to another. For some reason
the system back then was called Gertrude—
to this day I have no idea why. To be able
to be understood on Gertrude, you had to
enunciate and pronounce clearly. I think I
may have made a habit of doing it that way.
Q: How do you see the practice evolving?
A: That’s an interesting question because
Q: All of this boat talk—have you seen
my practice is very much tied to both the
legal world and the maritime world. And so
when things change in the maritime industry,
the practice changes. For instance, around
the ’60s or ’70s I guess, containerization
became a big thing, and the deregulation
of the transportation industry under the
Carter administration meant that the Port
of Baltimore no longer had some of the
advantages that it used to. It used to be
that ships would want to call in Baltimore
because it’s closer to the Midwest than
New York and Philadelphia. Baltimore was
cheaper. But with deregulation, people
were able to negotiate their own deals and
Baltimore sort of fell behind for a while,
which has an effect on your practice. So I
would say that I see my practice continuing to
involve mostly the representation of vessels
owners and operators, and I see that the port
is going to continue on the upswing.
Captain Phillips yet? It seems right in
A: You know what, that has been on my
must-see list for some time now. It looks so
interesting. But you know, there isn’t much
piracy on the Chesapeake Bay these days.
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