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Joe’s practice involves a full range of maritime, energy, and environmental matters. He is perhaps best known for his considerable experience in oil and chemical spills, casualty investigations, crisis response, and litigation stemming from maritime and industrial casualties. Joe has significant trial, arbitration, and public hearing experience relating to admiralty/maritime cases, environmental pollution matters, commercial and construction disputes, personal injury, and regulatory proceedings including those before the U.S. Coast Guard, South Coast Air Quality Management District and Cal-OSHA.



Joe has served as lead counsel for Responsible Parties and their underwriters involved in marine and on-shore pollution incidents, coordinating Unified Command activities, managing and defending third-party claims, and challenging and negotiating Natural Resource Damage Assessments. Joe has also defended against civil and criminal enforcement actions initiated by federal, state and local agencies relating to pollution, illegal dumping and alleged violations of federal and international environmental laws (“MARPOL”). He has led internal investigations and environmental audits and has implemented environmental compliance programs in defense of these actions. Joe has also represented parties alleged by the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) to have violated state emission laws including non-compliant fuel use and at-berth/cold ironing requirements.


  • California (all state and federal courts) and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals


  • J.D., cum laude, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, 1989 

  • B.S., Honors, Nautical Science/Marine Transportation, US Merchant Marine Academy, 1983 


  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Proctor Member, Inaugural Chair of Special Committee on Maritime Cyber Security and former member of the Board of Directors (2012-2015) 

  • Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach Chapter of the Propeller Club of the United States, Board of Governors 

  • Central CA Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC), Cybersecurity Subcommittee 

  • Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association, USA 

  • American Legion Post 291, Newport Beach 

  • Surface Navy Association 

  • Association of the U.S. Navy 


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