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Pamela A. Palmer litigates complex commercial disputes with an emphasis on insurance coverage and transportation law.

With a roster of clients that includes insurance companies, vessel owners, brokers, trucking companies and logistics providers, Pam provides representation throughout the litigation life-cycle including a specific focus on appellate matters. In the scope of her insurance practice, Pam advises and represents insurers on the full spectrum of first- and third-party claims including environmental, marine, inland marine, general liability, transportation, aviation, sex abuse as well as suspicious claims involving theft, arson, smoke losses and vessel sinkings. She has worked on coverage matters involving environmental sites around the world with billions of dollars of alleged response costs at issue and has represented insurers in coverage matters involving religious organizations, film studios, trucking industry losses and product liability.

In her transportation practice she supports clients with advice and litigation involving casualties, environmental damage and complex logistics disputes involving the shipment of goods worldwide.  A major focus of Pam’s transportation practice is having a deep understanding of her client’s business in order to facilitate early resolution of disputes where possible to avoid prolonged and unnecessary litigation including advising on risk management strategies to avoid future losses.  Pam’s experience has included casualties with multi-jurisdictional and foreign proceedings, appeals involving catastrophic losses as well as marine insurance matters involving significant exposures.

Pam’s appellate practice has included writs and appeals to the state appellate courts of California, New York and Washington as well as the Second, Third and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal.  She has handled appeals involving such varied areas as insurance coverage, wrongful death, personal injury, maritime casualties, construction disputes and environmental damages.

Pam is a Proctor in Admiralty of the Maritime Law Association of the United States and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She is past Chair of the American Bar Association’s TIPS Admiralty & Maritime Law Committee and the past Editor in Chief of the ABA TIPS Law Journal. As a frequent speaker and author on transportation and insurance related issues, Pam is often sought after to moderate and present. Her recent presentations include the impact of COVID-19 on the transportation industry for the Transportation Lawyers Association and best practices for emergency response to maritime, aviation and trucking casualties for the American Bar Association.

Pam graduated cum laude from Gonzaga University School of Law where she was an Associate Editor of the Gonzaga Law Review, member of the National Moot Court team, member of the Linden Cup Moot Court First Place Team and received the CALI award for legal research and writing.


J.D., cum laude, Gonzaga University School of Law, Spokane, Washington, 1999
B.A., with Honors, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, 1995


Fellow, American Bar Foundation

ABA TIPS Diversity Involvement Award, Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee Chair, 2015

ACI’s Forum on the Defense of Admiralty and Maritime Claims and Litigation, Co-Chair, 2015


American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

  • Member, ABA TIPS Continuing Legal Education Board (2016-2021)
  • Chair, ABA TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee Chair (2014-2015); Vice Chair (2011-2021)
  • Editor-in-Chief, ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal (2014-2016); Associate Editor (2007-2021)

Proctor in Admiralty, Maritime Law Association of the United States

  • Vice Chair, Marine Insurance Committee

Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association

Transportation Lawyers Association

State Bar Licenses

California, Oregon, New York, Washington

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
U.S. District Ct., C.D. of California
U.S. District Ct., S.D. of California
U.S. District Ct., S.D. of New York
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of New York
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Washington
U.S. District Ct., W.D. of Washington
U.S. District Ct., District of Arizona
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
  • Lead appellate counsel in reversal of a $30 million wrongful death damages award for failure of the trial court to allow the jury to hear evidence of the comparative fault of settling defendants as well as due to the misconduct of counsel;
  • Prosecution of subrogation claim against seller of land for alleged breach of contract related to failure to indemnify buyer for extensive contaminated groundwater at property;
  • Representation and advice to insurance interests related to the RMS Titanic salvage;
  • Representation of third-party logistics provider in multi-million-dollar cargo and warehousing claim;
  • Prosecution of subrogation claim for casualty involving $100 million in cargo losses including trial and subsequent appeal;
  • Defense of insurance broker in $100 million insurance fraud claim in state and federal actions resulting in successful summary judgment motions on broker liability;
  • Representation and advice on sexual abuse claims in federal and state courts on behalf of churches, schools and insurers;
  • Representation of insurers in suspicious claims involving vessel sinkings, arson, robbery and theft including coordination with local law enforcement and state regulatory agencies;
  • Defense of insurers in coverage actions in California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington involving extensive long tail liabilities in cases involving environmental liabilities;
  • Drafting and advise with respect to insurance policies, shipping contracts, crewing contracts and other documents for insurers and vessel owners.