Pierce Atwood’s Maritime Group represents banks and other lenders, marine fuel suppliers and other providers of maritime “necessaries,” salvage companies, towage companies, and various other types of maritime claimants, in the arrest or attachment of vessels ranging from oil tankers to private yachts, and of other types of maritime property. The Maritime Group also has extensive experience in defending vessel owners and others in connection with arrests and attachments. Maritime arrests and attachments of course hinge on whether a claim falls within the federal courts’ admiralty jurisdiction, and our attorneys have substantial experience in connection with admiralty jurisdiction matters, including successful representation of the petitioner before the United States Supreme Court in Exxon Corp. v. Central Gulf Lines, Inc., 500 U.S. 603 (1991), in which the Supreme Court expanded federal admiralty jurisdiction over contracts.
The Group’s attorneys also are exceptionally familiar with the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty and Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the case law construing them, as well as with the local practices of the Federal Courts and the U.S. Marshals’ Service in the Districts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Pierce Atwood’s Maritime Group attorneys have taken a leading role in drafting the proposed Local Admiralty Rules for the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, which are currently being reviewed for approval by the judges of that Court. As frequently maritime arrests and attachments must be accomplished quickly, before a vessel departs a jurisdiction, our experience and expertise in this area are of great value to clients seeking to obtain security and otherwise protect their rights under maritime law.