Five Ways to Lose a Maritime Lawsuit

Posted by John K. Fulweiler | Dec 13, 2012 | 0 Comments

Maritime cases are fragile things requiring attention and encouragement. There are many ways to lose an admiralty lawsuit because the voyage from that first client meeting to a safe harbor is long one. Sometimes the waters are flat and the passage is easy, other times you take a beating. It's the nature of litigation.

Here's five ways you can lose a personal injury lawsuit, or, maritime claim:

1. Dismissed. A defendant may respond to a complaint by filing a motion to dismiss. These motions ask the court to dismiss the complaint because of some basic flaw. Typically, you see these motions made where the statute of limitations was missed, or, where the allegations even if taken as true, fail to add up to a basis for legal relief.

2. Settled. Okay, this isn't usually a loss. But sometimes some flaw is identified in your lawsuit and a nominal settlement is offered. I take that as technical loss.

3. Dismissed on a summary judgment motion. You've taken the depositions, exchanged documents and information with the other side and next up is the trial. Right? Easy Trigger, what's next sometimes is a motion asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit on the basis that the undisputed facts as established in the record don't allow for legal relief.

4. Jury rules against you. Enough said.

5. Appellate court reverses. The jury rules in your favor. You regale your spouse with tales of the stress and hard work it took to get the lawsuit from inception to jury verdict. An appeal is filed and ‘lo the verdict is reversed.

Underway and making way.

--- JKF

About the Author

John K. Fulweiler

Proctor-In-Admiralty / Licensed U.S. Coast Guard Master Formerly a partner in a New York maritime law firm, John K. Fulweiler graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Marine Affairs degree and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law. In addition to being recognized by...


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