Justin Guthrie is a civil litigation associate in the Firm’s admiralty and maritime practice group. He has experience litigating marine insurance coverage and defense matters in state and federal courts across the United States, representing insurers and insureds alike. Justin regularly advises individuals and businesses in connection with maritime personal injury and property damage, vessel finance, logistics, and commercial fishing and aquaculture related disputes. He also assists clients in the navigation of certain regulatory concerns involving the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Vessel Documentation Center, the Federal Maritime Commission, and Customs and Border Protection. Additionally, Justin holds Qualification Certificates from the International Group of Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Clubs with respect to his work as a P&I Correspondent for the Port of Savannah, and he recently passed the P&I Qualification examination for Module 1 (The Shipping Business). The Certificate Justin received for passing this examination can be found here:

Certificate – P&I Qualification Module 1

Justin earned his J.D. and Certificate of Specialization in Maritime Law from Tulane University and his B.A. in Foreign Affairs & International Relations from the University of Virginia. During law school, Justin was an editor on the Tulane Maritime Law Journal, and he clerked for both the U.S. Department of Justice – Aviation & Admiralty litigation division and the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington, D.C. Prior to law school, Justin was a collegiate sailor, a sailing instructor, and an oyster farmer for one of the largest oyster companies on the Chesapeake Bay.

Representative Engagements

  • Provides insurance coverage analysis concerning marine insurance issues, including drafting coverage opinions and assisting in the litigation of declaratory judgment actions based on the same.
  • Defends marine insurance carriers and insureds in matters relating to insurance coverage, breach of contract, maritime personal injury and property damage, and oil pollution.
  • Assists in the representation of all member P&I Clubs, providing ocean carrier members legal advice, on-scene casualty investigation, regulatory assistance, and related services for legal matters arising in the Port of Savannah.
  • Has assisted a foreign vessel owner in the expeditious release of its vessel from arrest and successfully defended a bunker broker’s necessaries claim against that vessel.
  • Has assisted a naval architect in his defense against a shipbuilder’s breach of contract claim, resulting in a defense jury verdict, and pursued a successful breach of contract counterclaim against that shipbuilder.
  • Has assisted a marine insurance carrier in connection with the favorable pre-trial resolution of several lost fish catch and commercial fishing damage claims.
  • Has assisted a marine insurance carrier in obtaining a declaratory judgment based on a seaworthiness condition in its insurance policy and successfully defended that finding on appeal to the Fourth Circuit and on brief to the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Has assisted a marine insurance carrier in obtaining a declaratory judgment based on a primary residence exclusion in its insurance policy.
  • Has advised commercial aquaculture clients as to maritime personal injury and Jones Act liability and has assisted in the drafting of an amendment to the Jones Act concerning aquaculture workers.
  • Has assisted yacht owners in the favorable representation and resolution of varying degrees of yacht damage claims against marinas and storage facilities, including fire, flooding, and total loss claims.
  • Has favorably represented consignors and logistics brokers in connection with several commercial trucking, transport, and cold storage related disputes across the United States.
  • Has favorably defended auto insurance carriers and their insureds as lead trial counsel in matters relating to insurance coverage, breach of contract, and personal injury.

Publications & Presentations


Recent Developments in Admiralty and Maritime Law

Co-authored by Justin Guthrie, this article was published in the Spring 2021 Survey Issue of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal.

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The Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuit Update

Presented by Justin G. Guthrie to the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI) in June 2021.

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Maritime Personal Injury and the Aquaculture Business

Presented by Justin G. Guthrie at the East Coast Commercial Fishermen’s & Aquaculture Trade Exposition in January 2020.

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A Practical Guide to the Limitation of Liability Act

Presented by Justin G. Guthrie to the Mid-Atlantic Mariner’s Club in October 2019.

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Navigating Marine Insurance from the Insured’s Point of View

Presented by Justin G. Guthrie to the Virginia Yacht Club in October 2018.

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Shedding Light on the Legal Side of Aquaculture

Presented by Justin G. Guthrie at the Virginia Aquaculture Conference in November 2017.

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