Eckland & Blando represents clients engaged in domestic and international shipping and fishing, and represents vessel owners and operators, charterers, non-vessel owning operating carriers, ocean freight intermediaries, construction and dredging firms, vessel builders, bunker suppliers, freight forwarders, inland carriers, lenders, marina operators, marine surveyors, naval architects, marine trades providers, stevedores, wind farms, tug and barge operators, cruise lines, fishing vessel fleets, including scallop, lobster, and ground fishermen, terminal operators, and hull, protection & indemnity, charterers legal liability, cargo, and general liability insurers in maritime litigation, as well as in marine-related commercial and corporate transactions.
Because our clients’ issues may arise at any time and the immediate gathering of evidence and protection of client and employee interests are paramount in the event of a maritime casualty or issue, members of our group are always on call. Eckland & Blando maintains a dedicated emergency response line at 617/217-6937, which our admiralty team monitors 24/7, 365 days per year.
Eckland & Blando’s admiralty group include Proctors in Admiralty, leaders of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, and alumni of Tulane University Law School’s world-renowned Admiralty & Maritime Law Program. This includes one attorney who received his Juris Doctor with a Maritime Law Certificate and was an editor of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal, and another who received an LL.M in Admiralty as a Maritime Law Fellow.
While Eckland & Blando serves clients across the United States and internationally, our admiralty and maritime law group has offices strategically placed in Boston and Minneapolis to quickly respond to casualties on the Atlantic Ocean, the Upper Mississippi River, and the Great Lakes. Through its connections in the Maritime Law Association, Tulane, and elsewhere, Eckland & Blando also has a network of attorneys that it can collaborate with should a client experience issues on the West Coast, Gulf Coast, or internationally.
Personal Injury & Death Litigation
Our aggressive attorneys have extensive litigation experience in matters involving personal injury and death, Jones Act Seafarer claims, general maritime law claims for maintenance and cure and unseaworthiness, Death on the High Seas Act claims, Moragne causes of action, Outer continental Shelf Act claims, general maritime law passenger personal injury and death claims, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) claims, Workers’ Compensation Act claims, offshore wind activities, and products liability litigation.
Limitation of Liability Act of 1851 Actions
Eckland & Blando’s attorneys are well versed in both the offensive and defensive use of the Shipowners Limitation of Liability of Act of 1851, which allows vessel owners to limit their liability in any one casualty to the value of the vessel at the time of the incident and to invoke concursus, or to keep all claims from one incident in the same proceeding, thus allowing the merits to be decided by a Judge sitting in Admiralty.
Our admiralty and maritime practice includes extensive experience, in the areas of marine insurance coverage, including in connection with commercial general liability, protection & indemnity insurance, hull and machinery insurance, charterer’s legal liability, general liability, employer’s liability, excess liability, pollution liability, tower’s legal liability, wharfinger’s liability, among other insurance coverages. This includes serving as outside general counsel for insurers. Our attorneys have a proven track record of success in connection with enforcing insurer’s rights in marine insurance policies where insurance applicants violate the doctrine of uberrimae fidei as enshrined in the United States federal general maritime law.
Enforcement of Maritime Liens and Mortgages
Our attorneys, one of which is the Maritime Law Association of the United States’ Chairman of the Committee on Practice and Procedure, which oversees matters involving arrest and attachment of Vessels, have extensive experience in assisting clients in connection with enforcing maritime lien claims, mortgage claims, other maritime debt claims, in arrest, attachment, possessory, and petitory actions under the Supplemental Rules B, C, and D for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Collisions, Allisions, Oil Spills, and other Property Damage Casualties
Eckland & Blando routinely handle vessel collisions, allisions, and property damage claims including advising parties in connection with United States Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board proceedings, oil pollution response and liability, and other environmental damage claims.
Salvage and Wreck Act Claims
Our attorneys have extensive experience in representing vessel owners against claims brought by alleged salvors and in adjudicating ownership rights of abandoned wrecks or vessels under the law of finds, salvage, and the Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987.
Cargo and General Average Claims
Eckland & Blando also counsels its clients on crucial issues concerning bills of lading, including multimodal bills, cargo damage claims under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act and the Carmack Amendment, dispatch and demurrage, hazardous cargo, stevedoring operations, and terminal operations.
NVOCC’s, OTI’s, and Customs Issues
Our attorneys are well versed in representing Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers and other Ocean Transportation Intermediaries in litigation disputes and other matters involving International Trade and Customs, including in representing client’s interests in connection with fines and penalties issued by the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection.
Fire Litigation and Utility Vegetation Management
Eckland & Blando has vast experience with litigation surrounding fires and cause of origin of same. We pride ourselves on getting live on scene to assist with analyzing exposure, connecting clients with appropriate experts, and preserving the scene and important evidence to avoid claims of spoliation of evidence and set up defenses, including mitigation of damage and inverse condemnation. We are also prepared to advise Utility Vegetation Managers in implementing procedures that comply with statutory and contractual obligations, contracting to minimize exposure, and ensuring that, in the event of a catastrophe, they can show that they took all proper precautions to avoid such incidents. Eckland & Blando also strives to keep abreast of ever changing laws, technologies, and customs by attending conferences and keeping in touch with key industry and government actors.
We have extensive experience in negotiating and drafting vessel purchase and sale agreements, transfer of title agreements, preferred ship and fleet mortgages, vessel sale leasebacks, vessel charter’s with option to buy contracts, time, voyage, and demise charter parties, contracts of affreightment, towage agreements, marine services agreements, transportation agreements, letters of credit, letters of undertaking, shipyard construction and repair contracts, naval architect contracts, and international sales contracts.
Maritime Documentation and Finance
Eckland & Blando counsels clients in complex vessel acquisitions, financings, documentation, registration, and flagging of vessels in the United States and abroad.
Fishing Permits Sale and Transfer
We counsel clients in the application for, transfer of, and/or sale of valuable fishing permits as well as putting fishing permits in Confirmation of Permit History with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Government Contracts and Waterfront Development
Utilizing its substantial experience and knowledge involving government contracts, Eckland & Blando also counsels clients in connection with United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permits and federal contracts related to dredging and other river and waterfront development projects. Our maritime attorneys closely monitor federal actions regarding the funding and allocation of maritime resources, and aggressively advocate on behalf of our clients to ensure that the federal government strictly complies with applicable law.