Maritime Law

Since opening our doors more than forty years ago McGuinn, Hillsman & Palefsky has earned a national reputation for excellence and  built one of the West Coast’s premier maritime tort practices.

We represent people not corporations or insurance companies. From our base in San Francisco, we appear in State and Federal courts ranging from Seattle to San Diego and Honolulu to Fort Lauderdale in marine personal injury, wrongful death, products, collision, and pollution cases arising under the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, the Longshore Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the Clean Water Act, and general maritime law. We represent a wide variety of maritime clients including marine construction workers, dredgermen, divers, merchant seamen, tugboat hands, fishermen, longshoremen, shipyard workers, and cruise ship passengers.

We represent our clients at every level of decision, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, and have helped shape and hone maritime law by taking on cutting edge cases, participating in key appeals, and authoring topical law review articles. We led the charge on break-through issues like “brown water” seaman status and non-traditional Longshore coverage and we are currently working to help frame the debate on the important question of maritime punitive damages.

But we are trial lawyers first and foremost. Our decades of experience and peer-rated preeminence before State and Federal juries have been recognized by several national organizations and publications including Super Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, The Best Lawyers in Northern California, Martindale-Hubble, the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL).