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Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyer

Serving the injured in Massachusetts since 1985

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Attorney Joe Donohue specializes in several areas of law including Admiralty & Maritime. This category of law includes federal, state and local laws in regards to activities that take place along the shore or at sea. Donohue has many years of experience in Admiralty & Maritime law to be able to assist with any litigation need including admiralty claims, coastal development, boat builders and more. Knowing your rights at sea and on shore can be beneficial when you feel you have a claim to file or have one filed against you.


To begin, you must understand the definition of Admiralty law. Also known as maritime law, this section of the law is one that is a combination of United States and international law that will cover all contracts, injuries, offenses and torts that take place on navigable waters. Traditionally, this law type will focus on issues taking place in the ocean waters but can involve other public bodies of water including rivers and lakes. The laws cover interactions between two or more ships as well as the obligations of a ship’s captain to the crew and passengers as well as crew member rights and other matters.

Admiralty/Maritime Cases

Cases that take place involving Admiralty law will usually be heard in a federal district court. However, states can also hear a case. Special rules and legal principles are applied by the court when dealing with maritime cases. Because of this, you need an experienced attorney to handle your individual case. Mr. Donohue has the knowledge and experience to handle your needs in regards to such laws and regulations on sea or shoreline.

While your case may involve personal injury or other issue, you want to hire an attorney who specializes in maritime law as knowledge of these specials rules and laws must be known. International laws must also be known by the attorney if they should apply in your case. This can include environmental requirements as well as import/export regulations.

Example Case Scenarios

There are many instances in which maritime law will apply. One example is when a commercial accident occurs and damage is done to a vessel or cargo. Seaman can also be injured in commercial accidents. Rules and regulations are in place that would tie in to such cases, be it the seaman suing for injury or the company suing for damages to their vessel. Piracy and criminal activity is also covered under maritime law. Wake damage, towing contracts and liens against a ship are also included.

Any incident occurring on the water or shoreline will most likely fall into the category of maritime law. Below are a few areas of expertise that can be covered under this category:

  • Marine construction, dredging and towage
  • Marine pollution
  • Marine insurance
  • Marine arbitration
  • Collision
  • Boat builders
  • Salvage
  • Seaman’s claims
  • Ship mortgages
  • Maritime arrests

If you are in need of admiralty or maritime law assistance, never hesitate to contact the law office of Joe Donohue. Mr. Donohue is ready to put his expertise to work for you.