Alexander S. Polsky, FCIArb

T: 714-939-1300
F: 714-939-8710
Maritime/Admiralty

Claims filed under the Jones Act for injuries aboard ship are highly specialized, as are claims for lost profits due to shipping delays and seagoing losses. Mr. Polsky has been called upon to settle these specialized disputes.

Representative Matters

  • Captain of fishing vessel performing maintenance procedures in engine room when pant leg became caught in a rotating drive shaft coupler. Leg drawn in and snapped resulting in compound fracture and third degree burns. Issue whether owner of ship liable under Section 3 of FELA due to exposed drive shaft. (Settlement $450 k)
  • Claim by estate of decedent. Decedent was working on a container ship at the Long Beach Shipyard when he was run over by a crane. His legs were severed and he died. At issue was the status of decedent under the Jones Act. Specifically whether he could be classified as a seaman possessing an employment related connection to a vessel in navigation thereby giving rise to tort damages, or an employee of the vessel owner thereby giving rise to worker's compensation benefits. (Settlement in tort)
  • Claims for lost profits due to shipping delays and seagoing losses.
  • Coverage dispute following sinking of vessel in calm seas. Insurer asserted that vessel not seaworthy at the time of the sinking due to rust out of drain plug. Jury ruled against insurer and mediation utilized to resolve bad faith claim and insurer's errors and omissions claim against counsel at the underlying trial.
  • Decedent fell off powerboat in Colorado River and suffered severed head when it was caught in propellers. Decedent owned the powerboat and a friend was operating it while decedent tried to clear a buoy. Engine surge caused by a combination of unskilled operator and kink in transmission caused decedent to fall overboard. First attorney for family settled with operator unaware that this cut off all damages for the percentage of negligence attributed to the operator. Mediation with manufacturer and assembler of the powerboat, and the company that performed the first service. (Settlement $250 k) Settlement followed by action against first attorney.
  • Fall overboard from fishing boat resulting in death of husband. Fall not observed and body not located. Decedent had been warned not to sit on the railings. (Settlement $275 k)
  • Jones Act claim in connection with injuries aboard ship resulting in an above the knee amputation. (Settlement $200 k) This was followed by claim against National Maritime Pension & Welfare Plan physician by ship owner for negligently certifying plaintiff as fit for sea duty prior to the incident. (Settlement)
  • Maritime insurance bad faith claimed following denial of post yacht sinking while in port. Denial predicated on issue of sea worthiness as a condition precedent for stating a claim. (Settled $425 k)
  • Service failures at terminal disrupted weekly cargo shipment of perishable goods leading to eventual repudiation of contract by shipper. Action to recover excess costs, and lost profit against affirmative claim for lost rentals. (Settlement lost rental of $1.8 mm adjusted by set-offs of $1.575 and adjustment of other invoices for net settlement of $100 k paid to terminal by shipper)

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution category, Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2018
  • Recognized as a SuperLawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution category, SuperLawyers, 2006-2016
  • Recognized as a Top Master, Daily Journal
  • Recognized with AV Preeminent Status as a Top Rated Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized as a Top California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2006-2010, 2012
  • Speaker, "What Real Estate Attorneys Can Learn From Mediators—And Vice Versa," Tokyo Annual Conference of the International Bar Association, 2014
  • Panelist, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Mediation Panel
  • Successfully completed "Accelerated Route to Fellowship International Arbitration Program with Award Writing Examination, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, North American Branch, 2014
  • Fellow, International Academy of Mediators
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Southern California School of Law and Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Lecturer (partial list): California Bar Association, American Bar Association, Association of Southern and Northern California Defense Counsel; Consumer Attorneys of California, Los Angeles and Orange County; Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco Bar Associations; Pepperdine University Law School; Building Industry Association
  • Past Director: Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Trial Lawyer's Association, Southern California Adjuster's Association
  • Past Chairperson, Orange County Bar Association Committee on ADR
  • Delegate, State Bar of California, Conference of Delegates
  • National Institute of Forensic Studies, Professional Advisory Board
  • Publications on ADR and Attorney Fee Disputes for State and Local Bar Associations, firms, trade associations, and newspapers. Author: "A System for Cost Effective Management of Construction Defect and Complex Litigation." Author: "ADR, Why Does it Work?" Author: "Use of the Special Master in Complex Litigation." Author: "Use of Risk Based Facilitative Dispute Resolution."
  • Mr. Polsky is a sought after negotiation skills trainer and has lectured throughout the United States. He is an adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, where he teaches a course he designed on ADR and negotiation, and at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law, where he teaches courses in the LLM program. He is available to provide training in negotiation and mediation skill development to corporations and professional organizations.
  • Pro bono activities include Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) Board of Directors; Los Angeles/Long Beach Legal Aid Grand Cru Board of Directors; Public Law Center of Orange County Board of Directors; Los Angeles County Bar Association volunteer mediation program volunteer

    Comprehensive Overview

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    This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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