Articles Posted in Washington Bar Association

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Last week, Nigel Stacey and Joe Stacey, partners at Stacey and Jacobsen, PLLC, were honored to serve as judges for the esteemed 31st Annual Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition.

This annual competition hosted 32 law school teams from across the country to deliver arguments on issues pertaining to maritime law. The event honors Judge John R. Brown, renowned for his service as a distinguished admiralty judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Other volunteers in this competition have included federal judges, prominent members of the maritime bar, presidents and past presidents of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, as well as admiralty professors.

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Nigel_Stacey-300x203Partner Nigel Stacey was recently invited to present as faculty at the Current Issues in Maritime Law 2023 Conference, organized by the Washington State Bar Association. Attendees at the conference included plaintiff and defense lawyers, as well as insurance directors from around the world. Mr. Stacey was asked to speak about Passenger Liability Waivers and the Pending Ehart v. Lahaina Divers Inc. Decision.

The presentation focused on maritime law that prohibits the use of ticket liability waivers for specific voyages, as businesses attempt to assert immunity from negligence lawsuits. This issue is particularly important as the Ninth Circuit is currently deciding whether the rule allows a company to avoid legal action for negligence after a deceased passenger signed a waiver to go snorkeling.

Liability waivers address instances of ordinary negligence. Should a business engage in gross negligence or deliberate harm, the waiver loses its effectiveness. Distinguishing between ordinary and gross negligence can be subtle. Ordinary negligence often results from accidents or lack of attention, while gross negligence arises when an entity neglects to exercise reasonable care.

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