ADMIRALTY & MARITIME
Admiralty and Maritime Law is a specialized field encompassing a broad spectrum of jurisdictions, causes of action, and remedies for maritime claims and transactions. As a Florida Bar Board Certified Admiralty and Maritime Law attorney, Frank Sioli and the marine team at Sioli Alexander Pino handle the legal issues arising out of this complex and constantly evolving area of law.
Our ﬁrm not only assists with maritime claims and issues as they arise, but also offers consultation for risk management, loss prevention and review of practices and procedures to minimize future legal exposure and maximize legal standing.
From its origins dating back to providing indemnity for the Greek and Roman fleets circumventing the world, to the Lloyd’s Coffee House in the late seventeenth century, marine insurance serves as the foundation of the entire insurance system we see today. As a result of this long history, marine insurance retains many original concepts that have been disregarded or modified in other types of insurance, which makes the need for an experienced practitioner in this field even more important.
Even with a history dating back centuries and a plethora of past interpretations to guide the insurance practitioner, insurance coverage issues and litigation often arise in policy interpretation. As the oldest form of insurance, marine insurance policies can also be the most complex, which only heightens the need for an experienced attorney to provide assistance with coverage issues.
Maritime employee claims present a number of peculiar challenges best addressed by an experienced maritime lawyer. Seaman claims under the Jones Act, unseaworthiness and maintenance and cure doctrines are constantly reviewed in a number of state, federal, and courts of international jurisdictions. Moreover, “twilight zone” claims may arise, with employees potentially covered by a number of different jurisdictions/statutes with varying remedies.
The maritime Limitation of Liability Act, 46 U.S.C. §§181 – 196 (“Limitation Act” or “LOLA”), is one of the most powerful, and most misunderstood, doctrines in maritime law. The Limitation Act essentially allows a vessel owner, in a recreational boating or commercial vessel setting, to limit its liability after a maritime incident or casualty to the post casualty value of the vessel and the pending freight, except when the loss occurred due to its "privity or knowledge." 46 U.S.C. App. §183(a)
Despite the advent of new safety and loss prevention technology in the international shipping industry, maritime cargo claims remain a prominent part of the maritime law landscape. We offer representation in navigating the boundaries between COGSA, the Harter Act, the Hague-Visby Rules and other statues/regulations governing marine intermodal transportation of goods, as well as counsel on drafting bills of lading and similar maritime commercial instruments to avoid future litigation.
Bad faith is a specialized subset of insurance law focusing on claim handling on a first and third party basis. On a first party basis, if an insurance company is deemed to have handled a claim in bad faith, certain jurisdictions allow for payment of the insured’s attorney’s fees, as well as other damages, including potentially punitive damages.
Salvage claims typically involve the rescue of a vessel in peril, with the salvor making a claim against the owner and/or insurer of the vessel for an award based on the complexity (order) of the salvage. While a number of these claims may be successfully negotiated by the vessel owner and/or its insurer without the need for attorney involvement or litigation, certain claims do present intricate or unique issues requiring representation.
The seizure of a vessel, or vessel arrest, is how an Admiralty Court gains jurisdiction over the maritime conveyance or vessel which is the subject matter of a legal proceeding. These actions are commonly known as "in rem" actions, meaning those against a "thing" or property, rather than a person.
The lawyers at Sioli Alexander Pino provide legal assistance in the closing of recreational and commercial vessel purchases by reviewing, preparing, and processing the documentation necessary to complete your maritime vessel transaction. We also prepare and perfect maritime commercial instruments such as charter parties, maritime liens, mortgages, contracts for wharfage and dockage, carriage of goods, marine construction, stevedoring services, marina and repair yard contracts, and leases of mar
Because of our experience in drafting maritime commercial instruments, our lawyers have a keen awareness of the issues arising in litigation in the maritime commercial context. Disputes over charter parties, maritime liens, mortgages, contracts for wharfage and dockage, carriage of goods, stevedoring services, marina and repair yard contracts, marine construction, leases of maritime vessels and property, and other marine related contracts can be expensive and time consuming.
The states where our attorneys are admitted to practice law, Florida in particular, have an abundance of coastline facilitating a thriving recreational boating industry, lifestyle, and activities. Unfortunately, accidents involving the recreational vessels are still commonplace, despite modern advances in safety and navigation.
The attorneys at Sioli Alexander Pino specialize in the unique legal issues arising out of the ownership and operation of Superyachts, including vessel transactions, charter parties, collisions/allisions, immigration issues, labor/employment claims, insurance policies/claims, hull & machinery/property damage, as well as liability for personal injuries to passengers and employees occurring on Superyachts.