icon2.png

Marine Law Symposium 2022 Agenda

2:00-3:00pm Forensic Investigation of an Accident


This investigation involved the decapitation of a passenger in a bass boat when the boat struck a downed power conductor from a transmission tower. As the investigation progressed it became apparent that questions revolved around what the operator could see prior to the collision and the navigation rules that applied. It was decided that an animation would be best to explain this to the triers of fact. -Would the animation survive a Daubert Challenge? -What navigation rules would the animation confirm were applicable? Join us for this discussion to find out. Speaker: Greg Davis, Davis Marine Consulting Associates




10:05-11:05am Case Study - The Garcia Case


Description to come.

Speakers: Bill Daley, CED Technologies




11:05am-12:05pm Perspective: A Look Back on Cases Involving Evidence, Investigation, Expert Testimony


This presentation will guide the attendees through several different cases exploring the impacts of critical evidence, investigation, and expert testimony. The attendees will gain knowledge of the do’s and don’ts in marine litigation and be given examples of landmark industry cases. Attendees can also expect to learn about how record keeping impacts evidence in cases and strategies to use records and information in defense of cases. The presentation will likewise function on the strength of investigation and tips to ensure the expert has the best chance of protecting his or her opinions in legal cases. Speaker: Christina Paul, K&L Gates




12:05-1:00pm LUNCH


Network with Law Symposium participants over a plated lunch, dessert, and coffee.




8:45-9:45am Case Study: Warren Case


In this discussion, we will cover the forensic investigation and litigation associated with a sterndrive explosion/fire leaving the claimant with extensive burns and cervical fractures. The accident lead to an inquiry into the boat’s prior owners and history, resulting in a claim against the dealer, and the boat and engine manufacturer. Our presenters will showcase how ABYC standards were used as a “sword and shield” and where the case involved teaching other investigators and insurers how and why the incident occurred. Speakers: Stephen Ellenbecker, Johnson & Bell; Peter Chisholm, Mercury Marine




3:20-4:20pm Pena vs Tracker Marine


This is a case study that demonstrates how essential it is to carefully analyze the evidence before reaching a conclusion.

The subject incident occurred when the driver of the boat unexpectedly and suddenly lost control of the boat, which then spun and resulted in his ejection and impact with the propeller, causing devastating injuries. Plaintiff presented a theory of cause and ultimate liability, which at first glance seemed logical. The defense was challenged with either accepting the theory outright or subject the facts and evidence collected to critical scientific analysis. First, the cause of the ejection was studied in detail because the boat’s hydraulic steering system was found to be compromised after the incident. Then, the impact of the engine stop lanyard on a first pass strike was studied. The scene video was analyzed, an exemplar boat was extensively tested, laboratory testing was conducted, and the intimate details of the body injuries evaluated, all taken together to carefully reconstruct the likely series of events that led to the accident and how same could have been avoided. The results were unexpected.

Speakers: Raul Chacon, MG+M; Robert Taylor, Design Research Engioneering (DRE)




1:00-2:00pm Damage, Injury and Death – Are You Covered?


This presentation will focus on common liability risk
situations, a discussion of risk prevention steps, and
the insurance coverages that are available to protect against those risks.
Speakers: Jeffrey Smith, Honigman Business Law Firm; Pat Duggan, Merrimac Marine Insurance




4:20-5:00pm Q&A Roundtable


Join moderator John Adey in a discussion of the symposium topics during a Q&A session with our distinguished speaker panel.




8:30-8:45am Introduction


Join ABYC President John Adey for a quick introduction and overview of the day.




Tuesday, January 11





Monday, January 10 (evening prior to the Symposium)


5:30-6:30pm Cocktail Reception​ The evening prior to the Marine Law Symposium, attendees are invited
to enjoy music, cocktails, and appetizers with industry colleagues
and Symposium presenters. 6:30-7:30pm ABYC Annual Meeting Feel free to stick around for the ABYC Annual Meeting!




7:45-8:30am Registration and Breakfast


Check-in with some coffee, juice, and breakfast.




9:45-10:05am BREAK


Coffee Break




3:00-3:20pm BREAK


Coffee Break