Maritime law, otherwise known as admiralty law, concentrates on the rights and responsibilities of individuals that have to do with watercraft in a commercial context. A maritime lawyer, therefore, is a professional who deals with maritime commercial activity. They represent their clients in legal disputes relating to marine business and merchandise, as well as transportation.
If you’re looking for a maritime lawyer, there are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing one.
- Get referrals and read online reviews
Ask for referrals from people you know who have had to hire a maritime lawyer in the past and read online reviews. This will give you an idea of what services other clients received and whether they were satisfied with them or not. A maritime attorney with bad reviews is a red flag! Choose one with a good track record and is also known for their excellent customer service skills.
- Experience matters
When looking for a maritime lawyer, find one who specializes in your type of case. An admiralty lawyer might represent clients involved in accidents between ships or with cargo, industrial accidents on land caused by marine activities, damage done by pollution activity by companies related to the sea, patents rights involving watercraft, personal injuries that occurred at sea for sailors or passengers, etc.
Ask the potential maritime lawyer how long they have been representing other people as well as their success rate. This way, you can gauge if they are the right one for you or not.
- Check their license and certifications
You need to find a maritime lawyer who has a law license. Maritime lawyers are also often Board Certified Marine Attorneys. This is because maritime cases are complex and require special attention, precautions and techniques that not all lawyers are familiar with or know how to handle. Additionally, make sure the potential maritime lawyer you’re considering has all the right certifications for your case before choosing him.
- Ask about their fee structure
Even if your case might be straightforward on paper, things are not always so easy when it comes to litigation. You need to find out what cost components can come up in your case, especially if it goes beyond the standard scope of practice on both sides. You need to agree on the cost and how you are going to pay the maritime lawyer before he starts working for you.
- Find out if they are available
As aforementioned, maritime cases can be complex. You, therefore, need to find an attorney who will be available for all your questions and concerns. Additionally, you need to work with one who will be available for all your court dates. This way, you can be sure that they will fully represent you in court and not leave you alone should other issues arise.
Before making your final decision on the best maritime lawyer for your case, consider all the aspects mentioned above. Remember, the maritime attorney you work with plays a significant role in how your case will turn out.