The firm has an extensive practice in maritime litigation and transactions including defense of major barge lines, smaller operators and their insurers in Jones Act and general maritime law personal injury claims, allision and collision suits and proceedings under the Shipowner’s Limitation of Liability Act and the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. On the transactional side, the firm routinely handles charters (bareboat and fully found), vessel purchases and sales, vessel documentation and financing including first preferred ship mortgages, riparian rights disputes and marine insurance issues in such transactions. The firm is in close proximity to and has clients operating on the Ohio, Tennessee, Mississippi and Cumberland Rivers.
Member C. Thomas Miller, who has over twenty-five years’ experience litigating in federal and state courts, leads the firm’s maritime litigation practice. Mr. Miller has represented maritime clients in numerous disputes including allisions, collisions, barge construction, maritime product liability, tow break-aways, limitation of liability, Jones Act and unseaworthiness tort claims. In 2018, Mr. Miller obtained summary judgment for a towing company in a wrongful death case which was affirmed by the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and in 2019, obtained a ruling from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals holding that comparative fault can be apportioned to the owner of a lawfully-permitted bridge which is found to be an unreasonable obstruction, even absent any affirmative duty to alter the bridge’s design. Member Nicholas Holland, who has over fifteen years’ experience in transactional work as well as litigation, leads the firm’s maritime transaction practice. Mr. Miller and Mr. Holland are assisted by Paralegal Connie Derezza, who has over twenty-five years’ experience in maritime transactions and litigation; and Kasi Lahndorff, a paralegal with over fifteen years’ litigation experience.