Florida Salvage Attorney
In practicing maritime law for 25 years I have had the great opportunity to represent many maritime salvors in every corner of the State of Florida. Today there are over 103,000 attorneys licensed in the State of Florida. That does not mean they all live here, but there are that many attorneys who are licensed to practice law in Florida. Out of those 103,000 attorneys there are as few as 115 attorneys who regularly practice in maritime law in Florida. This is the approximate membership of maritime attorneys in the directory for South-Eastern Admiralty Law Institute (“SEALI”). SEALI is a collegial body for maritime attorneys which includes Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
Of those 115 maritime attorneys more than half of them are defense attorneys working for marine insurance companies or defending corporations. This means your chances of finding someone who actually knows about maritime law and how to correctly handle your maritime claim are slim. Here AT www.888BoatLaw.com we speak maritime law and it is a large part of our practice, not a sideline. This includes the handling of maritime salvage cases for maritime salvors.
We have said elsewhere on www.888BoatLaw.com that many attorneys claim to know how to handle boating cases, but when you ask how many cases in maritime law they’ve actually sued on, the truth comes out. In the area of maritime salvors and maritime salvage claims, not even many maritime attorneys handle these types of claims. We are not aware of another maritime attorney who handles maritime salvage claims for marine salvors. An interesting point about handling maritime salvage claims is that they are done in federal court for the most part. So, a maritime salvage claim arising in the Florida would likely be filed in the federal court in Tampa.
Ability to Arrest the Vessel
Under maritime law in some of the cases we handle for maritime salvors the owner of the vessel refuses to provide the name of the insurance company, or may even claim that some company in the Bahamas owns the vessel. It is now customary for owners of larger vessels to have them registered under a separate corporate name in another country. In this manner the “owner” believes they can get away with any liability for the vessel, and for services requested by the owner or captain of the vessel. In those cases where the owner refuses to give over the insurance information it is good to know an experienced marine salvage attorney and that is because the vessel is also liable for the marine salvage services provided. What does that mean exactly? It means that the vessel can be treated just like a person and sued if the salvage invoice is not paid.
Right, but how is arrest of the vessel done? First, find a good marine salvage attorney, and more importantly find one who has been through the process many times. (Hint: you are reading from one now.) There are procedures your marine salvage attorney needs to know which are not found in writing. In my case it comes from the experience of having arrested vessels throughout the State of Florida, from Clearwater to the Keys, to Jacksonville to the Panhandle for the past 25 years—including from 400-foot cargo vessels to 20-foot recreational boats. Second, the proper legal papers need to be filed in the federal court. (A marine salvage attorney is going to know that you cannot file an arrest claim against a vessel in State court.) Third, the Clerk of Court issues the Arrest Warrant after the federal judge approves all of the arrest papers. Fourth, actual arrest of the vessel needs to be coordinated with the U.S. Marshal’s Office.
This procedure of arrest of a vessel on a maritime salvage is especially effective when the owner of the vessel is being unreasonable and will not give up the name of his insurer. It also overcomes the game of the “owner” saying they are not the real owner of the vessel because the vessel is owned by a corporation. Maritime law doesn’t care about those ownership games because when you have arrested the vessel now the vessel has to answer for the salvage charges owed.
Marine Salvage Attorney in Florida
However, your marine salvage attorney needs to know how to do this procedure. We know how to do this procedure. We are marine salvage attorneys. We practice throughout the entire state of Florida.
We can help you right now. Call us at 888-Boat-Law.
***None of the foregoing is legal advice and is not meant to give legal advice. Each case is different. This is why it is important to contact us on the specific facts of your case. What you say in making the claim can greatly affect your outcome.