Law Office of Patrick Flanigan - Commercial Fishing Law

Law Office of
Patrick Flanigan
P.O. Box 42
Swarthmore, PA 19081-0042
Toll-free: 877-275-5191
Phone: 610-628-0539
E-mail Us

Commercial Fishing and Maritime Law, Employment Law

Commercial Fishing Lawyer

Commercial Fishing Law is Unique

Commercial fishing regulations are complex. Litigation is difficult. It is critical to work with an attorney experienced with the procedures, regulations, statutes and developments specific to this area of law.

Commercial Fishing Law for Clients Nationwide

The Law Office of Patrick Flanigan offers knowledge and insight into maritime law and the commercial fishing industry gained through firsthand experience. Prior to turning to the practice of law, attorney Patrick Flanigan worked for nearly 20 years as a commercial scallop fisherman, deck hand, cook, engineer, first mate, boat captain and vessel owner, who fished the deep waters from Maine to Virginia, Oregon and Alaska. During his time on the water, he developed the knowledge and insight of an industry that can only be gained through firsthand experience. After his fishing career, but before attending law school, attorney Flanigan also served as an expert witness in personal injury cases involving commercial fishmen and vessel owners.

The Law Office of Patrick Flanigan offers focused and cost effective representation for commercial fishing and other maritime issues, for example:

  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS): The NMFS is the federal regulatory agency for developing fishery management plans (FMPs) and amendments. To operate within the laws and the FMPs while protecting your rights and livelihood, it is important to work with a lawyer experienced in commercial fishing and fish management.
  • Fishery Management Plans (FMPs): Regulations enforced by the NMFS, along with FMPs developed by the regional councils, regulates everything including gear restrictions, fishing permits, black boxes (VMS) requirements, closed areas to name only a few of the many restrictions. If you wish to challenge NMFS, a FMP, or amendment whether as an individual, association or group, you have very limited time to act to protect your best interests.
  • NOVA, NOPS and other enforcement actions: Commercial fishermen and boat owners receiving a Notice of Violation and Assessment (NOVA) or Notice of Permit Sanction (NOPS) can put your livelihood at risk. There are numerous potential violations under the Magnuson-Stevens Act as well as other laws, which demand prompt and knowledgeable legal action.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (F&WS): The F&WS is the another federal regulatory agency for management of fish, wildlife and habitat. The agency is responsible for legislation, regulatory compliance and enforcement, including the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other regulations that greatly affect the commercial fishing industry. If you wish to challenge the F&WS or the ESA, whether as an individual, association or group, you have limited time to act. Attorney Patrick Flanigan also assists with maintaining compliance and responding to notices of violation with the F&WS and any other state or federal agency.
  • Jones Act injuries and wage claims: If you are a commercial fisherman, seaman or maritime worker and have been injured or denied full wages, attorney Patrick Flanigan will help you pursue your claim. Unlike land-based work injury and wage claims, maritime claims involve different procedures, including a discovery process that calls for knowledgeable representation.
  • Injury claims by longshoremen and maritime workers: attorney Patrick Flanigan also represents longshoremen and maritime workers who have been injured on the job. These employees, who often work in hazardous marine environments, include barge workers, dock workers, and workers on oil rigs and construction platforms. His firm handles everything from initial claims through final appeals under the federal Longshoremen and Harbor Workers' Act and state workers' compensation claims including wrongful discharge, discrimination and retaliation claims.
  • Boat foreclosures: If you are a boat owner facing financial challenges, attorney Patrick Flanigan can assist you to secure bankruptcy protection, if necessary, and negotiate on your behalf with banks, gear & fuel suppliers and shipyards. In some circumstances, a bank may want to scrap a boat and strip the fishing permit. We are also experienced with the matters relating to fishing permits.
  • Appellate law: Attorney Flanigan represents clients in appellate matters arising from all areas of commercial fishing and maritime law. He is admitted to bring appeals before the Supreme Court of the United States and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He also can file appeals in other state and federal courts by special appearance. Mr. Flanigan has the experience and skill to represent clients in administrative, state and federal appeals.

Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation With a Maritime Attorney

The Law Office of Patrick Flanigan represents clients nationwide in commercial fishing and all other types of maritime matters. Contact the firm online or call toll free at 877-275-5191 to schedule your free and confidential initial consultation.

For your convenience, attorney Patrick Flanigan offers evening and weekend consultations. Contingent, hourly and other negotiated fee structures are available and may be customized to your needs.


The Law Office of Patrick Flanigan is a maritime law firm that represents clients nationwide. It serves clients in states along the eastern seaboard including Maryland, Massachusetts (including New Bedford, MA), New York and New Jersey (including Cape May, NJ), as well as Maine (including Portland, ME), Vermont, New Hampshire, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Connecticut and Rhode Island; and the states of Alaska (including Kodiak Island and Dutch Harbor, AK), Louisiana, Alabama and California.