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Old 09-05-2013, 18:07   #1
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Need an attorney!

I have a situation, the details of which I am not going to get into at the moment, however I will say that I am dealing with a significant dispute over services delivered by a marina and their staff. I need to bring in a surveyor and likely an attorney, however I am uncertain the type of attorney that I would need in such a circumstance. Would it be best to involve a marine attorney who is familiar with boats and such or can this type of dispute be handled by any litigation attorney?

My basic question is what do marine attorney's do? And how is that different that any other attorney?
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Old 09-05-2013, 18:26   #2
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Re: Need an attorney!

From the little information you have provided, it doesn't sound like you need a lawyer who specializes in maritime law. Maritime law has to do more with commercial issues such as cargo claims across many international jurisdictions and the like. If you have a problem with your marina, I think a regular litigation lawyer will do just fine.
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Old 09-05-2013, 18:34   #3
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Re: Need an attorney!

First note that I am not an attorney, and only speak from my limited experience with them. The little that you have disclosed indicates that the nature of your dispute is of commercial contract nature rather than one that specifically involves maritime law. My understanding is that marine attorneys deal with international navigation issues and maritime labor laws for commercial shipping. They may be more familiar with dealing with liens on vessels if that issue applies.

I think that you could call upon any attorney who's practice covers commercial contract litigation for the jurisdiction involved if the dispute relates to work done on your boat by a service provider. Good luck to you! It is never fun when things get past the point of working them out without lawyers involved.

This link will give you a better understanding of what maritime and admiralty law is about.
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Old 09-05-2013, 18:35   #4
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Re: Need an attorney!

I'd choose a surveyor (and be up front with what you are doing), and then ask the surveyor for a recommendation.
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:10   #5
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Re: Need an attorney!

I do think you need an admiralty lawyer. They will know about maritime liens which the yard will slap on you if you dispute a bill.
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:18   #6
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Re: Need an attorney!

You want a lawyer but you deliberately decide to disclose nothing about the nature of the dispute? Complete baloney.

Charles
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:23   #7
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Re: Need an attorney!

I am a litigation attorney, but not licensed in your neck of the woods. My non-legal advice is to get a local attorney, but call the courthouse first and a law firm who does not practice in that area of law in order to get a referral that will be useful. If you use a firm that does not do litigation, you will probably get a referral which is based upon fact, not whether they are trying to get their new associate up to speed. .. If they try to give you somebody in house, you should keep looking. If the same name pops up frequently, that is probably the right person. Other posters are correct, that a good trial lawyer is probably better than a maritime specialist, given that this is a mechanic's lien situation.. Now the lawyer shtuff.. I don't represent you and cannot, given that I am not licensed in your jurisdiction. My advice is that of a fellow sailor, and that alone!!!
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:24   #8
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Re: Need an attorney!

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Originally Posted by Chas Erwin View Post
You want a lawyer but you deliberately decide to disclose nothing about the nature of the dispute? Complete baloney.

Charles
No, just good common sense and proper discretion in a situation where a law suit may be involved and anything said, written or even comments posted on the internet by involved parties might be called into the case.

You know the part on the TV shows where the police inform the person getting arrested that anything they say can be used against them. That applies to civil cases as well and you would be well advised to remember this if you are ever involved in any sort of legal action.
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:25   #9
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Re: Need an attorney!

i'm with efraim. if this concerns repairs that were not done correctly a regular attorney would be sufficient, although a report from a surveyor or mechanic would be helpful.

if it were a 'moving' violation, such as collision or right of way, you might need a marine attorney.
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:42   #10
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Re: Need an attorney!

I think you will need a big bank account to pay for this guy you're searching for. You should really work at getting things settled before rushing to spend $400-$500/hour.

Good luck--
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Old 09-05-2013, 19:58   #11
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Re: Need an attorney!

I will keep your advice firmly in mind -- if I ever get involved in a legal action - but I thought you asked your questions because you wanted advice. I did not realize that you were here to give advice instead.

If you have solid facts why not tell us what they are? Who cares what you say internet or otherwise? Unless of course - what you say here ends up being a fantasy.

I may have overlooked the importance of total secrecy that you think needs to be maintained in whatever case you think you have --- despite the 40 years time I have evidently wasted conducting admiralty and commercial cases.

The problem is - I can't say what I may have overlooked because you have offered nothing at all to begin with.

Charles
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Old 09-05-2013, 20:08   #12
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Re: Need an attorney!

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Originally Posted by Chas Erwin View Post
I will keep your advice firmly in mind -- if I ever get involved in a legal action - but I thought you asked your questions because you wanted advice. I did not realize that you were here to give advice instead.

If you have solid facts why not tell us what they are? Who cares what you say internet or otherwise? Unless of course - what you say here ends up being a fantasy.

I may have overlooked the importance of total secrecy that you think needs to be maintained in whatever case you think you have --- despite the 40 years time I have evidently wasted conducting admiralty and commercial cases.

The problem is - I can't say what I may have overlooked because you have offered nothing at all to begin with.

Charles
Sorry Charles but I think you are a bit confused about what's going on in this thread. First, I am not the one that asked the question. Sweetsailing is the one who is asking for help and he/she specifically did not ask for legal advise but asked about choosing a lawyer.

I am not Sweetsailing, I am skipmac. I just replied to your post complaining about the lack of disclosure by Sweetsailing. My post was only to explain to you that there is a very good reason for one to not discuss specifics about a potential lawsuit on a public forum. Sorry if that offends you but I think in this situation, silence and discretion is the intelligent course.
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Old 09-05-2013, 20:19   #13
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Re: Need an attorney!

Point taken and no offense taken. However, my comments stand both as to the OP and to you as well. No facts => no likelihood of reference to qualified counsel.

Charles
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Old 09-05-2013, 20:54   #14
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Re: Need an attorney!

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Originally Posted by Chas Erwin View Post
Point taken and no offense taken. However, my comments stand both as to the OP and to you as well. No facts => no likelihood of reference to qualified counsel.

Charles
Not to worry. I see the OP has received several helpful replies including one from an actual attorney.
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:55   #15
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Re: Need an attorney!

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Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
I think you will need a big bank account to pay for this guy you're searching for. You should really work at getting things settled before rushing to spend $400-$500/hour.

Good luck--

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