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Maritime Proctor Blog

Admiralty and Maritime Law Blawg

Maritime Proctor Blog

As a practicing attorney at Chamberlain Hrdlicka in Houston, the focus of my practice is two-fold: I represent companies and individuals in civil litigation. I also do extensive work (of both a litigation and transactional nature) in the Admiralty, Maritime, and Energy fields.

I have been licensed to practice law since 2003. During that time, I've first and second chaired several trials to verdicts, as well as handled hundreds of other cases to amicable resolutions.

I'm a product of public schools, specifically Friendswood High School in Friendswood, Texas (Class of 1996), The University of Texas at Austin (BA-2000), and The University of Texas School of Law (JD - 2003).

Texas Super Lawyers magazine named me as a “Texas Super Lawyer” in the field of Transportation/Maritime Law in 2019 and 2020. Prior to turning 40, I was recognized by Super Lawyers as a Transportation/Maritime Law “Rising Star” from 2011-2018. In the past, both H-Texas Magazine and Houstonia Magazine named me as a “Top Lawyer in Houston” in the field of Admiralty and Maritime Law.

View my complete profile

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Posts in Maritime Law.

By now, our reader has likely seen footage of the M/V Dali, a Singaporean flagged container vessel, striking the Francis Scott Key[2] Bridge in Baltimore.  This maritime casualty obviously received massive news coverage in the United States,[3] as the Port of Baltimore (mostly located upstream or inland from the Francis Scott Key Bridge) is the fifth-busiest container port on the East Coast.[4]  There are currently ten vessels stuck in the harbor and thus unable to make their voyages.[5]  It is unknown how long the Port of Baltimore will remain closed, and at least six people died in this ...

Categories: Maritime Law

In the cinematic classic The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow must travel on the Yellow Brick Road through the Haunted Forest to reach the Emerald City.  During this journey, the three protagonists of the story speculate they will encounter wild beasts, which leads to one of the famous quotes of the movie: “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, oh my!”[1]  Ultimately, the trio meets their fourth compatriot, the Cowardly Lion, in the Haunted Forest, and he poses no harm to them.

We learned in 2021 the importance of the Suez Canal and Red Sea to global shipping trade.  ...

Categories: Maritime Law

It has been far too long since I was able to post on this blog.  My apologies to the loyal readers.[1]  I promise to be more consistent in my posts in the future.

This is the first in a several post series on the recent and highly publicized disaster involving the five lives lost last week on the Titan, a submersible craft operated by OceanGate.  As our readers know, the owner/founder of OceanGate and four passengers died when the Titan suffered a “catastrophic implosion” after losing contact with its primary exploratory vessel while attempting to view the wreck of the Titanic.[2]

These ...

Categories: Maritime Law

In Part I of "A Fifth of Silence," we covered the wording and history behind the Fifth Amendment, as well as how a jury must evaluate a witness taking the Fifth in a criminal trial.  To recap … the jury cannot consider it at all in reaching their verdict.

In Part II, we turn to taking the Fifth in a civil lawsuit.  The results are vastly different.  We will also address a hypothetical and provide some practical tips when faced with this type of situation.

What Happens When a Witness Takes the Fifth in a Civil Matter?

If a witness takes the Fifth in a civil matter, the jury, under SCOTUS precedent from ...

About two months ago, I took my family on a Spring Break vacation to Estes Park, Colorado.  Up a hill and behind the Safeway in Estes Park was a large hotel, which I learned is the Stanley Hotel.  Built by the family that started Stanley Steamer, this hotel served as Stephen King’s inspiration for the Overlook Hotel, which is the setting of his 1977 novel The Shining.  Here is a photo I took of the Stanley Hotel on our trip.

Cinephiles know the late Stanley Kubrick was as an absolute perfectionist director.  For example, during the filming of the 1980 movie adaptation of The Shining, Kubrick ...

Categories: Admiralty, Maritime Law

Lewis Black, the famous comedian, hypothesized in his 2002 comedy album “The End of the Universe” that the end of the universe was not far out in space.  Rather, it was in Houston, at the corner of West Gray and Shepherd. 

At that intersection, on the south side of West Gray was a Starbucks in a strip mall.  On the north side of West Gray is a stand-alone Starbucks.  Black even put a photo of both Starbucks on the cover of the album.

Later on, a Barnes & Noble was built on the north side of West Gray at the same intersection.  And inside the Barnes & Noble, with a view of both Starbucks was … another ...

Categories: Admiralty, Maritime Law

It’s another #MaritimeMonday, so we will continue our discussion of maintenance and cure benefits.  Two weeks ago, we analyzed a recent decision from the Fifth Circuit – In re 4-K Marine, L.L.C.,[1] after a brief overview of the nuts and bolts of a maintenance and cure claim.  Last week we discussed defenses to a claim for maintenance and cure benefits.

Today, we focus on a framework articulated by the Fifth Circuit over 30 years ago – the three-tiered damages model for maintenance and cure.  Notably, the 4-K Marine panel reaffirmed the viability of that decision, Morales v. Garijak ...

Categories: Admiralty, Maritime Law

First of all, let me apologize for the lack of recent posts on this page.  

Second, I want to take this opportunity to honor Professor David W. Robertson, who sadly passed away in late December 2018.  Professor Robertson, along with Professor Michael Sturley, taught me Admiralty law.  I was also lucky that he and I  kept in touch through work on the UT Law Admiralty and Maritime Law Conference over the years.

A link to his memorial page on the webpage of the University of Texas School of Law is here:

Categories: Admiralty, Maritime Law