2018 ABYC Marine Law Symposium 

The Anatomy of an Accident

April 10, 2018 - Charleston, SC

Will sell out!
Charleston, SC
Francis Marion Hotel
April 10

Anatomy of an accident

This is a premier training event that will prepare you to navigate the legal aspects of recreational boating accidents. Learn from 5 interesting and relevant accidents and lawsuits that have implications for dealers, manufacturers, surveyors, accident investigators, expert witnesses and attorneys. Attendees will hear from legal and insurance experts, manufacturer representatives and marine law enforcement.

5 Case Studies

Learn from 5 interesting and relevant real life marine accident investigations

12 speakers

Learn from marine industry experts and people who worked on various accident cases


Connect with the speakers and fellow attendees.

Don't miss the early bird discount!

Our Speakers

Charlie Simmons
Gorman & Williams


Charlie Simmons
Christina Paul
K&L Gates Law Firm


Christina Paul
Jeff Smith
Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn


Jeff Smith
Joe Angersola
Swift Currie


Joe Angersola
Matt Majors
Tennesse Wildlife Resource Agency

Matt Majors
Pat Duggan
Merrimac Insurance


Pat Duggan
Randy Moore
Snell & Wilmer, LLP


Randy Moore
Raul Chacon
Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP


Raul Chacon
Robert Anthony
Design Research Engineering

Senior Project Engineer

Robert Anthony
Robert Taylor
Design Research Engineering

Principal Engineer

Robert Taylor
Wendy Sanders
Jensen Hughes

Senior Mechanical Engineer

Wendy Sanders
William Daley
CED Technologies

President/Senior Mechanical Engineer

William Daley

The program

Click on each session title to view details!

  • 7:15
    Registration and Breakfast 
    Registration begins at 7am followed by networking and a continental breakfast.
  • 8:00
    Introduction from John Adey, ABYC President
    Length: 15 minutes

    Get the lay of the land and get ready for a full day of professional development and networking.

    John Adey
  • 8:15
    Legal 101
    Length: 30 minutes

    A primer on the language of the litigators and insurance companies.  What is a Daubert Challenge?

    Christina Paul, Randy Moore
  • 8:45
    Are you Covered?
    Length: 30 minutes

    Insurance experts and manufacturers representatives will discuss the nuances of the relationships you have (or need) to protect you in the event of a lawsuit or errors/omissions in your reporting.  Find out if the manufacturer you represent has YOU in mind, does your insurance policy have the right stuff to protect you from a lawsuit? What are the conversation starters you need to have with your business partners to make sure you are ready when the customer sues.

    WHO – dealers, manufacturers, surveyors, accident investigators
    Takeaways – Learn insurance terms/limitations, what’s in (or should be) in a contract, where does liability sit, how to assess
    your exposure to lawsuits, how can you (reasonably) protect yourself and your business

    Jeff Smith,  Pat Duggan
  • 9:30
    First Responders
    Length: 60 minutes

    Listen to marine law enforcement as they walk through the types of accidents they respond to, their responsibilities, their reporting, what experts/attorneys have access to (and don’t have access to), what happens to the boat in question and what will they provide when and if they are on the stand.

    WHO – insurance providers, expert witnesses, surveyors, attorneys, manufacturers.

    Takeaways – Learn when and how accidents are investigated, how officers are trained,  what those involved can legally obtain, find out what happens to the boat and when it would be impounded, participate in a Q&A session with a marine investigator

    Matt Majors
  • 10:30
    Case Study #1: Lady Di Racing Team and Krieger/Clear Marine v. Hatteras, Marine Max
    Length: 90 minutes

    Review substantial warranty claims against the dealer and the boat company including excessive spray, excessive corrosion, visibility from the helm, premature electronics failure, improper seakeeping, engine failure and more.  Hear from the attorneys and experts who worked this case from both the manufacturer and the dealer side of the story.

    WHO – insurance providers, expert witnesses, surveyors, attorneys, manufacturers, and dealers.
    Takeaways – This case is a template for how a customer complaint can continue to escalate in to the legal arena and how to deal with it.

    Christina Paul
  • 12:00
    Length: 60 minutes
  • 1:15
    Case Study #2: Feliciano Cortes, et. al. v. Sea Fox Boat Company and Davey Marine, LLC.
    Length: 60 minutes

    The devil is in the details.  When it comes to manufacturer compliance and adherence to the standards, a better example of the importance of detailed record-keeping cannot be found.  Join a company representative, attorney, and an expert as they discuss how this case is an example of how you might want to look at your manufacturing process.

    WHO - insurance providers, expert witnesses, surveyors, attorneys, manufacturers, and dealers.
    Takeaways - from a manufacturer’s perspective; how to improve quality control at the plant. From an attorney perspective, what will be discoverable during litigation and how we handle that.  If you represent a boat company as a dealer, attorney, or insurance provider, this
    will give you a great primer on the hard questions to ask before you do business.

    Raul Chacon, Robert Taylor, Craig Scholten
  • 2:15
    Case Study #3: San Diego Sailboat Capsizing
    Length: 60 minutes

    As shown by this multiple-fatality, multiple-personal injury action, maritime law can pose potentially harsh consequences for boatbuilders and their insurers regardless of the age of the boat. Learn from the defense attorney, expert witness, and expert consultant how the application of sound legal and engineering principles can be used to counter these consequences and limit the clients’ exposure.

    WHO - Insurance providers, expert witnesses, surveyors, attorneys and manufacturers and dealers. 

    TAKEAWAYS – This presentation features a computerized stability analysis developed to disprove harmful eyewitness testimony about the condition of the boat at the time it capsized and the cause of the capsizing.  It also addresses significant warning and boat-operator issues, as well as maritime law claims and defenses that manufacturers, insurers, and attorneys should be aware of.

    Randy Moore, Robert Anthony, Robert Taylor
  • 3:30
    Case Study #4: Propeller Guards?
    Length: 60 minutes

    Recent accidents have caused the question of propeller guards to be asked again.  Will they help? Will they cause more harm? Expert analysis of some high profile accidents and discussion from the engineer that designed and carried out the USCG Propeller guard test protocol will have you walking away with an understanding of how to analyze your needs and make an informed decision on using some type of device.

    William Daley, Charlie Simmons
  • 4:30
    Case Study #5: Lake Lanier Boat Collision
    Length: 60 minutes

    Hear how the application of the boating Rules of the Road took an interesting turn for a recreational boating accident reconstruction involving two open motorboats, and how state-of-the-art accident reconstruction techniques were utilized to establish boat paths prior to collision. Learn about the legal and evidentiary arguments made regarding the duty of a boat operator to perceive and avoid a collision

    WHO – insurance providers, expert witnesses, surveyors, attorneys, and law enforcement personnel 

    TAKEAWAYS – what information can be used to make your case; advanced and timely methodologies for reconstruction and litigation,and how physical evidence and testimony of over 30 fact and expert witnesses was dealt with during the course of almost 6 years to defend a wrongful death claim through trial.

    Joe Angersola, Wendy Sanders
  • 5:30
    Program Concludes

KeyNote Speaker

Margaret Watkins -
Under Armour Senior Counsel

Margaret Watkins has been at Under Armour for 10 years.  As senior counsel, she focuses almost exclusively on product safety and compliance. Before her move to Baltimore, she was a member of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Financial Fraud Task Force.  She also spent 5 years in private practice.  Meg has degrees from Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and Georgetown and clerked on the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.  She has appeared on “What keeps you at night?” panels at the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s Litigation, Regulatory & Risk Management Summit. 

Register now!

Registration fee for this symposium is now $499  
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After 3/30/18:
Register HERE!

Continuing Education Credits

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) will award 8 CEU credits for verified attendance at the Marine Law Symposium. Please contact your professional organization for their acceptance of these credits.