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David James represents admiralty and maritime clients on many business issues including shipyard damage claims, occupational disease claims, insurance coverage, and limitation of liability.

David provides strategic advice to his clients in personal injury claims by seamen, longshoremen, and other workers within admiralty jurisdiction. Additionally, he provides defense and prosecution of matters involving creditors’ rights. David defends his clients to achieve favorable outcomes and takes the time to understand the client’s expectations to ensure peak performance. David further advises clients on transactional matters in the maritime industry, including master service agreements, vessel, purchase agreements and vessel mortgages.


J.D., Paul M. Hebert Law Center, 2001
B.S., Texas A & M University-Galveston, Galveston, Texas, 1994


Named among The Best Lawyers in America® for Admiralty and Maritime Law by Best Lawyers (2022 – 2024)

Named among The Best Lawyers in America® for Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants by Best Lawyers (2023-2024)


Louisiana Bar Association, Member

Jefferson County Bar Association, Member

Maritime Law Association of the United States, Member

Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Member

Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, Member

Rotary International

State Bar Licenses

Texas, Louisiana

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
U.S. District Ct., S.D. of Texas
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Texas
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Louisiana
U.S. District Ct., W.D. of Louisiana

Representative Experience

  • Responded, investigated, and litigated casualties and other maritime incidents, including collisions, allisions, personal injuries, cargo matters and environmental matters;
  • Correspondent for several members of the International Group of P&I Clubs.
  • Prepared and reviewed maritime related agreements, including vessel construction and repair contracts, charter parties, master service agreements, vessel sale, and vessel finance documentation.
  • Represented a vessel owner in various matters arising out of a large collision and oil spill; engaged to respond to incident and protect owner’s interests in investigations by the NTSB, USCG, Texas GLO and other agencies; transitioned role to the defense of related complex civil litigation asserted by more than 20,000 claimants, with a large pro-se component; developed litigation strategy, including the first use of a Lone Pine Case Management Order in the context of an action brought pursuant to the Shipowners’ Limitation of Liability Act; secured the dismissal in excess of 17,000 claimants prior to commencement of discovery.
  • Prosecuted claims arising out of a large collision event that resulted in the loss of a vessel.
  • Counsel for vessel interests in numerous investigations conducted by the USCG and other regulatory bodies.
  • Defended class action asserted against a vessel owner on behalf of agricultural interests arising out of an allision with a lock operated by the United States; asserted claims against the United States and secured dismissal of the United States’ counterclaims prior to commencement of discovery; resulted in very favorable settlement for client.
  • Represented shipowner in a stranding that involved a Lloyd’s open form salvage agreement; worked with UK based solicitors and barristers to secure a satisfactory result in litigation involving the salvor’s unjustified invocation of SCOPIC.
  • Handled large allision matter involving the total destruction of an oil terminal’s dock; matter settled before commencement of litigation on terms highly favorable to shipowner client.
  • Successfully received dismissal of breach of contract claim due to claimant’s failure to fulfill discovery obligations.
  • Recovery for a vessel owner arising out of the explosion aboard barge at a shipyard.
  • Defended a claim by insurer for underpaid premiums; secured dismissal of insurer’s claim and an affirmative recovery on counterclaim for the overpayment of premiums.
  • Prepared multiple vessel newbuilding contract on behalf of vessel owner.
  • Arrested and sold several vessels for failure to pay debts.
  • Successfully defended vessel manager in personal injury matter based upon lack of in personam jurisdiction.
  • Defense of Jones Act claims in various state and federal courts.