Image: David Reisman
David L. Reisman
Shareholder, New Orleans
Hancock Whitney Center
701 Poydras Street
Suite 5000
New Orleans, Louisiana 70139


David Reisman brings broad and practical experience to his maritime practice. David served as General Counsel of Bisso Marine, LLC for a decade following fifteen years as a partner in the Maritime Section of Liskow & Lewis.  David also served for five years as General Counsel of T&T Bisso, LLC, an international ship salvage and wreck removal contractor with offices in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

David was a hands-on General Counsel, personally handling corporate legal matters, regulatory issues, contracts, risk management, insurance and compliance, and managing litigation.  In addition, he supervised the safety, human resources and quality departments, and was a member of the Bisso Marine Executive Steering Committee.

David’s experience in admiralty matters includes contracts, contractor and subcontractor vetting and management, Coast Guard regulatory and enforcement issues, implementation and management of Capital Construction Funds, insurance coverage, accident investigation, maritime and aviation finance and liens, compliance programs, and formation and management of joint ventures.  His litigation practice covers a wide range of matters, including maritime and offshore personal injury and property damage, products liability, aviation, drilling and completion accidents, reservoir damage, pipeline accidents, indemnity and insurance, and commercial disputes.

David has tried cases in state and federal courts in Louisiana and Texas.


David served as general counsel of Bisso Marine, LLC from 2007 to 2017.  During that time he drafted and negotiated contracts (joint venture agreements, master service agreements, subcontractor agreements, vessel charters, salvage and emergency response contracts, Lloyd’s Open Form contracts, and a variety of BIMCO contracts), managed Coast Guard regulatory and enforcement matters, handled international legal matters, implemented and managed a subcontractor/supplier compliance program, implemented and managed a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance program, drafted employment policies and procedures, managed insurance renewals, drafted corporate documents and shareholder agreements, and managed litigation for an oilfield service company with operations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America.

Corporate and Transactions

  • Formed domestic and international companies and joint ventures.
  • Represented buyers and sellers in connection with the sale of businesses, vessels, aircraft and equipment.
  • Represented borrowers in financing transactions.
  • Prepared board resolutions and corporate minutes.
  • Qualified companies to do business in domestic and international jurisdictions.

Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Review

  • Drafted and negotiated a master service agreement and subcontractor agreements for a $100 million infrastructure project off the coast of New York.
  • Drafted and negotiated a wreck removal contract for a sunken oil barge in the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans.
  • Drafted and negotiated wreck removal contracts for toppled drilling rigs and production platforms following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
  • Drafted and negotiated contracts for onshore and offshore construction projects.
  • Drafted and negotiated service contracts for maritime work in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Perú, Ecuador, Panama, Trinidad, The Bahamas, Haiti, Cuba, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Italy and the United Kingdom. 

Risk Management and Insurance

  • Implemented and supervised a safety program for an oilfield service company that reduced the company’s Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) from a three-year trailing average of 1.94 to an average of 0.695 during the first three years of the program.
  • Nominated for the 2009 National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Safety in Seas Award for excellence in improving the safety in life in the offshore energy industry.
  • Managed insurance renewals for oilfield service companies in the United States, Perú and Singapore.

Maritime Transactions and Regulatory

  • Represented vessel owners and operators in connection with Coast Guard regulatory, compliance and enforcement matters.
  • Represented vessel owners in connection with Jones Act (coastwise trade) compliance and enforcement issues.
  • Represented maritime service companies in connection with successful application to United States Department of State for license to work on vessel carrying Iranian cargo.
  • Represented maritime service companies in connection with successful application to United States Department of State for license to perform work in Cuba.
  • Managed MARAD Capital Construction Fund (CCF) reporting and compliance.
  • Managed vessel registry in the United States, Panama, Vanuatu and Singapore.
  • Represented buyers and sellers in vessel transactions in the United States, London, The Netherlands, Singapore, Indonesia and Perú.
  • Represented buyers and sellers in private transactions, bankruptcy sales and Marshal sales.

Indemnity and Insurance

  • Obtained indemnity and insurance coverage for an oilfield service company in an $8 million personal injury case in Texas.  The insurer for the party owing the indemnity issued multiple denials and reservations of rights before finally being persuaded by David to drop its defenses and settle the case for more than policy limits.
  • Obtained indemnity and insurance coverage for an oil company in a case involving an auto accident which rendered the plaintiff a paraplegic.
  • Obtained indemnity and insurance coverage for a pipeline operator in a death case.
  • Obtained indemnity and insurance coverage for a dive company in a death case.

Maritime Litigation

  • Represented an oil company in connection with the appeal of a seven-figure Jones Act personal injury judgment.  The Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal rejected the trial court’s findings as manifestly erroneous and dismissed all claims against David’s client.
  • Represented a diving contractor in connection with a diver fatality.  Orchestrated an agreement between multiple defendants and their respective insurers which allowed the defendants to work together and achieve a favorable resolution of the claim.  
  • Represented a barge operator and its insurers in connection with a mass action involving the release of toxic fumes from a barge on the Mississippi River and several thousand claimants. 
  • Obtained a judgment limiting a vessel owner’s liability following a vessel collision and sinking with multiple personal injuries.

Oilfield Litigation

  • Defended an exploration company in a blowout case involving seven fatalities.
  • Defended a production company in connection with a facility explosion that resulted in four fatalities.
  • Defended an oilfield service company in a leg amputation case and had the plaintiff’s claim dismissed on summary judgment.
  • Defended an oil company in a vessel allision case involving serious personal injury and property damage claims.  Following discovery, David filed a motion for summary judgment and had all claims against his client dismissed.

Other Litigation

  • Represented the defendants in a securities proxy fight in Federal Court in California.  After filing a counterclaim on behalf of his clients and defeating the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff dismissed its case and paid all costs and attorneys’ fees incurred by David’s clients.
  • Represented an oilfield service company and its principals in a suit involving claims of fraud and tortious interference with contract stemming from the alleged breach of a non-compete agreement.  Following discovery and motion practice, the plaintiff dismissed his claims against David’s clients.
  • Represented an oilfield service company in connection with a suit against a former executive officer who was suspected to have been stealing from the company.  Following David’s investigation, the former employee confessed, made full restitution, pled guilty to felony theft charges, and was sentenced to five years in Texas prison.



  • American Salvage Association (Legal Committee)
  • Association of Corporate Counsel
  • American Society of Safety Engineers
  • American Bar Association


  • JDRF – Member of Board of Directors (2001 – 2005)
  • St. George’s School – Member of Board of Trustees (2004-2007)
  • Roanoke College – Parent Leadership Council (2015 – Present)
  • Carrollton Boosters – Volunteer Baseball, Basketball and Football Coach (2001 – 2014)


  • Chambers USA – Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (outside New York), 2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2019-2022
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Nominated for 2009 National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Safety in Seas Award for excellence in  improving the safety in life in the offshore energy industry

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David is a frequent speaker on topics including contracts, compliance, Coast Guard regulations, indemnity and insurance, maritime personal injury and property damage litigation, and accident investigation strategies.

After Hours

David is an avid boater, fisherman and snorkeler and he loves to spend time on the water with his family.  Back on land, he enjoys golf, traveling, and watching the University of Miami Hurricanes football team.