Overview

Ben is a maritime lawyer with experience handling matters across the maritime spectrum, defending claims under the Jones Act, OPA 90, APPS, and the general maritime law. He enjoys investigating marine casualties and claims, covering matters from simple slip-and-falls to death cases, contract disputes, and allisions and collisions.  Ben was lead associate in the defense of suits brought by the former crewmembers of the MAERSK ALABAMA under the Jones Act for alleged injuries suffered as a result of the infamous pirate attack that ended with the long-distance takedowns of the Somali pirates by U.S. snipers.

Ben also has experience defending clients’ interests during USCG investigations and responses to oil spills/sheens and formulated emergency plans for the recovery and containment of the offending chemical(s).  He has protected shipowners’ interests in crewmember deportation events, for causes ranging from simple theft to terrorism.

Ben received his LL.M. in Admiralty from Tulane University Law School, where he was awarded the Maritime Law Fellowship, completing a rigorous course of study in nearly all aspects of maritime law and also serving as the head research assistant to Messrs. Martin Davies and Robert Force, two of America’s preeminent scholars in the field.  Ben is a proctor member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States and chair of its Salvage Committee. He is licensed to practice law in Mississippi and Alabama.

Experience

Ben served as the Lead Associate on the following cases:

  • Complex, lengthy litigation involving alleged personal injuries aboard the M/V MAERSK ALABAMA;
  • Bifurcated jury trial involving drowning deaths during the linehandling of the M/V GLENROSS;
  • Bifurcated, multi-day bench trial of the Rule B attachment of the M/V SEAGLASS H, involving complicated alter-ego allegations;
  • Bench trial involving OPA 90 claims against the M/V BOTTIGLIERI as a result of a "magic pipe”;
  • Bench trial involving oil rights and revenues in the Brooklyn Oil Field in Conecuh County, Alabama. As lead associate, handled pre-trial motions, witness preparation, and the introduction (and display) of exhibits;
  • Defense of numerous suits brought by the former crewmembers of the MAERSK ALABAMA under the Jones Act for alleged injuries suffered as a result of the infamous pirate attack that ended with the long-distance takedowns of the Somali pirates by U.S. snipers.

Involvement

Professional

  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Proctor Member; Chair, Salvage Committee; Past Secretary
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
  • Association of Average Adjusters
  • Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Mobile, AL
  • Mobile Bar Association, Admiralty Section Chair, 2017
  • Mobile Chamber of Commerce, Maritime Affairs Committee

Recognition

  • Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in Transportation/Maritime 2016-2019

Presentations

  • “Recent Maritime Law Developments in the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 11th Circuits,” Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute 2017 Annual Seminar, Charleston SC, June 16, 2017
  • “A Call to Congress for Increased Salvor Immunity,” 2016 Maritime Law Association Spring Meeting, May 4, 2016
  • “Form and Substance: The 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Why They’re Kind of a Big Deal,” Mobile Bar Association’s Annual Civil Law Update, Mobile AL, December 18, 2015
  • “Admiralty Practice in the 21st Century: Navigating Which Circuit Splits Will Lead to a Supreme Court Review,” 2014 American Bar Association Annual Meeting, August 8, 2014
  • "When a Vessel Is Not a Vessel: Recent Updates in Admiralty & Maritime Law,” Mobile Bar Association Admiralty CLE Program, Mobile AL, October 2, 2013

Publications

  • “Survey on Oil & Gas,” 6 Texas A&M J. Prop. L. 1, 2018
  • “Survey on Oil & Gas,” 3 Texas A&M J. Prop. L. 1, 2017
  • “SALVAGE! The Salvage Committee Case Law Update,” Maritime Law Association of the United States, 2016
  • “How’s America’s Next Revolution May Ignite Global Maritime Commerce,” Standard Bulletin, Standard P&I Club, 2015
  • “Cursing under a Star-Dogged Moon: Why the Legal Regime concerning the Recovery of Ancient or Historic Vessels Must Change, 25 U.S.F. Mar. L. J. 93, 2013
  • “The Variable Inegalitarian: the Confusing Legacy of Judge Henry De Lamar Clayton Jr., Eleventh Circuit Historical News Vol. X No. 2, at 21, 2013 
  • “Above Us the Waves: Defending the Expansive Jurisdictional Reach of American Admiralty Courts in Determining the Recovery Rights to Ancient or Historic Wrecks,” 43 J. Mar. L. & Com. 349, 2012
  • “Survey of Admiralty Personal Injury Awards,” 35 Tulane Maritime Law Journal 671, 2011
  • “Survey of Allision and Collision Decisions in the Federal Courts, 35 Tulane Maritime Law Journal 697, 2011
  • “Forum Selection Clause Survey,” 35 Tulane Maritime Law Journal 719, 2011