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What to Expect

Get up close with the intricate facets of marine law as top legal and insurance professionals present their most compelling and educative case studies. Benefit from their firsthand experiences, gain clarity on ambiguous situations, and expand your toolkit with actionable strategies.


Each case study presentation will be followed by an interactive discussion, allowing you to dive deeper into the nuances of each case, ask questions, and gather insights.

Case Studies 

More information to come on case studies presented and additional agenda items. 

Boat Explosion Resulting from Faulty Electrical System

In a Lake Charles case, MG+M The Law Firm representing two manufacturers as co-defendants, discussed and defended ABYC electrical standards and recommended warnings following a boat explosion that burned three, eventually killing one (or so alleged). At close of trial, plaintiffs' counsel of three plaintiff groups sought $150,000,000 in damages. Find out how the case reached a defense verdict with this case study.

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) for the Investigation of Small Vessel Mishaps

Join Dave Hollaway as he discusses an accepted investigatory methodology for conducting root cause and apparent cause analyses based on the ABS Marine Root Cause Analysis Technique (MaRCAT™). Follow the methodology as it applies to small vessel mishaps (including near misses), various investigation types (groundings, collisions, fires, mechanical failures, etc.), and the use of the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) in marine mishaps.

"Boat Cops Talk Shop"

Have you ever wondered what was going on in the minds of marine law enforcement officers on patrol or during incident investigations?  Take an “unfiltered” dive into recent investigations and waterway issues seen by officers throughout the country.  Joined by officers from Texas, Florida, and Wisconsin, Lt. Col. Majors will field questions and talk candidly about the challenges they face in the marine environment.  Whether you have questions, or just want to listen, you will enjoy this quick peek into the profession of law enforcement on the water.

Marine Fire & Explosion

Nick Harken and Jason Karasinski will present on the unique investigation and litigation aspects of marine fires. They will discuss general maritime law and investigations of marine fires including specific cases and investigations focusing on how attorneys and investigators have failed to understand the differences between maritime and non-maritime law and investigations.

Setting your Expert up for Success

This presentation will focus on a boating accident and the applicable rules of the road and responsibilities of boat captains where there was risk of collision. The discussion will continue regarding the value of the local DNR accident report. Additionally, use of contemporary tools, such as drones, tablets, and matterport cameras, will be discussed on how they help both counsel and expert memorialize evidence and accident scenes, and create demonstrative evidence in a cost effect way.

Hydraulic Steering Malfunction Creating Multivessal Collision

A sudden, high-speed collision on Grand Cailou Bayou resulted in severe injury. Two boats traveling in the same direction when one operator loses control, makes a 90 degree turn, and hits the other boat, causing it to launch into the air and land some distance away.

Part 1: Was this a case of operator error or system malfunction? Raymond Perez, Michael Harowski, and defense expert Robert Taylor represented the steering manufacturer in a matter wherein Plaintiff filed a product liability law suit in United States District Court Western District of Louisiana. Discover the details of the case from their perspectives.

Part 2: Learn from Wendy Sanders as a defense expert, supporting her opinions that there were no defects in the steering system and that the on-product warnings and contents of the Owner’s Manuals were adequate and appropriate for the product.

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