James D. Bercaw

James D. Bercaw

King, Krebs & Jurgens, PLLC

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When In Doubt, File the Limitation Complaint (Part III): The Test Is Reasonable Possibility

On December 3, 2014, the Fifth Circuit, in In re: RLB Contracting, Inc., No. 14–40326 (5th Cir. Dec. 3, 2014), concluded that an ongoing exchange of correspondence between counsel for a dredge involved in a maritime casualty...more

12/10/2014 - Bodily Injury Filing Deadlines Liability Insurance Vessels Wrongful Death

UPDATE: Punitive Damages for Jones Act Seamen are not “Pining for the Fjords, they’re Dead”!

On September 25, 2014, the en banc Fifth Circuit, in McBride v. Estis Well Serv., L.L.C., No. 12-30714 (5th Cir. Sept. 25, 2014), concluded in a brief opinion that the Supreme Court’s decision of Miles v. Apex Marine Corp.,...more

9/29/2014 - Federal Admiralty Law Jones Act Punitive Damages

Enforcing Foreign Judgments in U.S. Admiralty Courts: Second Circuit Prefers Substance Over Form

After protracted and expensive litigation overseas, you obtain a judgment against the defendant. There remains one series of hurdles left to cross: the defendant refuses to pay that judgment and has no assets in the country...more

6/25/2014 - Federal Admiralty Law Foreign Jurisdictions

But I’m Not Dead Yet! Punitive Damages For Unseaworthiness Claims Live On

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded that Jones Act seamen can recover punitive damages for their employer’s willful and wanton breach of the general maritime duty to provide a seaworthy vessel, in...more

10/3/2013 - Jones Act Punitive Damages Vessels Willful Misconduct

File The Complaint For Limitation Of Liability Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

The scenario may be all too familiar. A vessel owner is involved in a commercial relationship with a valuable customer, when a marine casualty involving the vessel occurs....more

7/23/2013 - Federal Admiralty Law Filing Requirements Liability Vessels

I’ll Take “Not A Vessel” for $600, Alex: What Is A Tension Leg Platform?

In the wake of the revisited tests of vessel status by the Supreme Court in Stewart vs. Dutra Construction Company, 543 U.S. 481 (2005) and Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Fla., 133 S.Ct. 735 (2013), it remains to be seen...more

3/12/2013 - Oil & Gas Tension Leg Platform Vessels

Jurgens And Bercaw Establish A Tension Leg Platform Is Not A Vessel

Jack Jurgens and Jim Bercaw succeeded in obtaining a partial summary judgment from District Judge Lance M. Africk that the MATTERHORN SEASTAR, a floating tension leg platform (“TLP”) secured to the Outer Continental Shelf off...more

3/11/2013 - Jones Act LHWCA Tension Leg Platform Vessels Workplace Injury

The Fifth Circuit Restates Three Duties Vessel Owners Owe Longshore Employees

Under Section 905(b) of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”), a vessel owner owes three duties to longshore employees. In October 2012, the Fifth Circuit granted a summary judgment dismissing serious...more

11/29/2012

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