2018 ABYC Marine Law Symposium 

The Anatomy of an Accident

January 9, 2018 - Charleston, SC

Will sell out!
Charleston, SC
Francis Marion Hotel
January 9

Anatomy of an accident

The 2nd Annual ABYC Marine Law Symposium will be held January 9th in Charleston, South Carolina. This is a premier training event that will prepare you to navigate the legal aspects of recreational boating accidents. Receive a primer on the language of the litigators and insurance companies, listen to marine law enforcement as they walk through accidents, and walk through start to finish 5 different real accidents and lawsuits that have implications for dealers, manufacturers, surveyors, accident investigators, expert witnesses and attorneys.

5 Case Studies

Learn from 5 interesting and relevant real life marine accident investigations

15 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!

Included with registration is a complimentary cocktail reception on January 8th, 6pm-8pm!
Hear about ABYC's latest news, and enjoy music, cocktails, and appetizers with your industry colleagues. 

Confirmed Speakers

Joe Angersola - Swift Currie
Raul Chacon - Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP
William Daley - CED Technologies
Pat Duggan - Merrimac Insurance
John Fetterman -The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA)
Matt Majors - Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA)
Randy Moore - Snell & Wilmer, LLP
Christina Paul - K&L Gates
Caroline Plater - Reed Smith LLC
David Rammelt - Reed Smith LLC
Wendy Sanders - Case Forensics
Brand Savender - Maritime Research Associates
Charlie Simmons - Gorman & Williamns
Jeff Smith - Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
Robert Taylor - Design Research Engineering

Our Speakers

Randy Moore
Randy Moore
Charlie Simmons
Charlie Simmons
Joe Angersola
Joe Angersola
Christina Paul
K&L Gates Law Firm


Christina Paul
Jeff Smith
Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn
Jeff Smith
Pat Duggan
Merrimac Insurance
Pat Duggan
Caroline Plater
Reed Smith LLP


Caroline Plater
Dr. Wendy Sanders
CASE Forensics, a Jensen Hughes Company

Senior Project Engineer

Dr. Wendy Sanders
John Fetterman

Director of Corporate Business Development

John Fetterman
Brant Savender
Maritime Research Associates, LLC
Brant Savender
William Daley
CED Technologies

President/Senior Mechanical Engineer

William Daley
David Rammelt
Reed Smith, LLP


David Rammelt
John Adey
ABYC President

Symposium Moderator

John Adey
Raul Chacon
Raul Chacon
Robert Taylor

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Robert Taylor

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?

    David Rammelt
  • 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, Todd Lemke
  • 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

    John Fetterman, 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.

    Carrie Plater, Christina Paul, Brant Savender, Raul Chacon
  • 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
  • 2:30
    Case Study #3: 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
  • 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: TBD
    Length: 60 minutes

  • 5:30
    Roundtable Q&A
    Length: 30 minutes

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!

Register for the Marine Law Symposium. Included with registration is a complimentary cocktail reception on January 8th, 6pm-8pm! Hear about ABYC's latest news, and enjoy music, cocktails, and appetizers with your industry colleagues.

Early bird (all)
Register now!
After 9/28/17
After 12/15/17

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.  

Group Pricing

No additional discounts apply for the early bird registration period. Discounts for 3 or more registrations after September 28th are available.  Please contact us for details.