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Steven M. Stancliff

Steve leads the firms admiralty and maritime practice group, and concentrates his practice in maritime industry litigation. He is an experienced and creative problem solver who advises and represents commercial ship owners, salvors, ship repairers, dredging and marine construction companies, and their insurers in all aspects of marine operations, commercial transactions, and casualty response. Steve is ready to lead and support casualty responses involving collisions, groundings, marine pollution, marine salvage, machinery failures, governmental investigations, and other incidents and disputes in federal and state courts in Virginia and North Carolina, as well as vessel arrests, attachments, limitation actions, and salvage proceedings.

Steve also assists underwriters by analyzing contracts of marine insurance and providing coverage opinions and bad-faith defense.
Education
Case Western Reserve University, J.D.
University of Rhode Island, M.M.A. (Marine Affairs)
United States Coast Guard Academy, B.S. (Marine Engineering)
Bar/Court Admissions
Virginia State Bar
North Carolina State Bar
Ohio State Bar
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
Community Involvement
The Propeller Club of Norfolk
Articles and Presentations
Representative Cases
Representative Experience
  • “Adventures in American Treasure Salvage” presented at the  10th Maritime Salvage & Casualty Response Conference in London England (September 11 & 12, 2019)
  • “Adventures in Treasure Salvage,” presented to the Salvage Committee of the Maritime Law Association of the United States (May 2, 2018)
  • “Ethical Dilemmas for Maritime Attorneys—And How to Avoid Them,” presented at Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute Seminar (June 25, 2016)
  • “10 Useful Things Lawyers Should Know About Admiralty Law,” presented to the Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association Seventeenth Annual Bench-Bar Conference (April 21, 2015)
  • “Recent Maritime Law Developments in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Circuits and U.S. Supreme Court,” presented at Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute Seminar (June 29, 2012)
  • “It’s No Fun Being an (Injured) Illegal Alien (Maritime Worker),” presented at Admiralty Law Institute Seminar Annual Meeting (2010)
  • “The Continuing Vitality of the Limitation of Liability Act,” presented at Admiralty Law Institute Seminar Annual Meeting (2009)
  • “A Legal Guide to Pleasure Boating” — presented at Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association CLE Seminar — covering subjects including: the nautical rules of the road, the legal framework for Coast Guard search and rescue operations, the evolution of government maritime security regimes, laws for the protection of the environment, and law enforcement authorities on the navigable waters of the United States; (May 2008 and 2010)
  • State and Federal Cooperation in Maritime Homeland Security Mission; Panelist at National Association of State Boating Law Administrators 45th Annual Conference (2004)
  • United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea, Maritime Security, and International Fisheries Law and Management; Defense International Institute of Legal Studies 2003 mission to the archipelagic state of Vanuatu

CASE RESULTS DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE.  THEY DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT SIMILAR RESULTS IN FUTURE CASES.

  • Heritage Pharmaceuticals v. Agility Logistics Corp., et al., (Civil No. 2:19-cv-152) E.D. Va. [Marine Cargo]
  • In re: Norfolk Dredging Company, (Civil No. 2:16-cv-581) E.D. Va. Mar. 25, 2019 [Limitation and Exoneration from Liability]
  • Addax Energy SA v. M/V YASA H MULLA, (Civil no. 2:17-cv-641) E.D. Va. Nov. 21, 2018 [Rule C arrest and foreclosure of maritime lien]
  • Pridemore v. Hryniewich, 98 Va. Cir. 113, 127 (Cir. Ct. 2018) [Marine Products Liability Defense]
  • Recovery Limited Partnership v. Wrecked & Abandoned Vessel, 263 F. Supp. 3d 606 (E.D. Va. 2017) [Salvage]
  • Recovery Limited Partnership v. Wrecked & Abandoned Vessel, 204 F. Supp. 3d 864 (E.D. Va. 2016) [Salvage]
  • National Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Brickyard Vessels, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155887 (E.D. Va. Nov. 4, 2014) [Insurance bad-faith defense]
  • Flame S.A. v. Industrial Carriers, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131981 (E.D. Va. Sept. 19, 2014) [Rule B attachment and judicial sale]
  • Kelly v. United States, 7:10-CV-172-FL, 2011 WL 3555853 (E.D.N.C. Aug. 11, 2011) [Federal Tort Claims Act ]
  • Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad Co. v. M/V MARLIN, 2009 A.M.C. 2465 (E.D. Va. 2009) [Bridge Allision]
  • Styron v. Norfolk Dredging Co., 262 F.R.D. 502, 502 (E.D.N.C. 2009) [Jones Act defense]
  • Resolves admiralty and maritime disputes (vessel arrests, Jones Act claims, Suits in Admiralty Act, Federal Tort Claims Act, Shipowners Limitation of Liability Act, contract disputes, maritime torts, fishing vessel operations, licensing and permits, damaged shore structures, personal injuries, and machinery failures.)
  • Lectured in the regional and local maritime and legal communities on maritime legal issues relating to vessel arrest, ship-owners limitation of liability actions, marine salvage, vessel collisions, marine casualty investigations and recreational vessels.
  • More than 20 years active duty commissioned service in the United States Coast Guard, concluding at the rank of Commander. Legal, shipboard engineering and operational assignments in New York City, Newport, RI, Cleveland, OH, Honolulu, HI, San Francisco, CA, Boston, MA and Portsmouth, VA.
  • Legal advisor for Coast Guard and other federal officials regarding urgent maritime operations, regulation of commercial shipping and licensed mariners, environmental compliance, criminal investigations and enforcement, maritime trade, maritime transportation security, investigation of major marine casualties, and international law issues.
  • As Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, litigated civil claims in Admiralty on behalf of the United States, including ship collisions, groundings, oil spills, contract disputes and law enforcement activities.
  • Routinely directed and coordinated complex civil and criminal inter-agency investigations among numerous federal, state and international investigative agencies in maritime domain.
  • Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Districts of Maine and Rhode Island investigating and prosecuting allegations of oil pollution, MARPOL violations, and violent crime on the high seas.
News and Updates
5 Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, P.L.C. lawyers named to 2020 Best Lawyers® list
Posted on August 15, 2019
Norfolk, VA, August 15, 2019 -- Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, P.L.C. is pleased to announce that 5 lawyers have been included in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it…...
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Steve Stancliff Concludes Tenure as President of TOA
Posted on August 7, 2019
Steve Stancliff, the firm’s admiralty and maritime practice team leader, concluded his three-year tenure as president of the board of directors for Tidewater Arts Outreach (“TAO”) on July 1, 2019,…...
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CWM Attorneys Recognized by Virginia Super Lawyers®
Posted on April 17, 2018
Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, P.L.C. is pleased to announce that the following lawyers have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 list of Virginia Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars.  Through…...
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Steve Stancliff Elected as Officer of SEALI
Posted on December 7, 2017
Steve Stancliff, chair of the firm’s Admiralty & Maritime practice group, has been elected to serve as an officer of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI). He most recently served…...
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CWM Attorneys Recognized by Virginia Super Lawyers®
Posted on April 17, 2017
Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, P.L.C. is pleased to announce that nine of its lawyers have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 list of Virginia Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars. …...
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Tidewater Arts Outreach Appoints President
Posted on August 8, 2016
The organization appointed the following officers to serve for 2016-2017:   Steven Stancliff (Crenshaw, Ware & Martin PLC), president; Osman Lambiro (Sentara Life Care), vice president; Jennifer Bonsiewich (Dixon Hughes Goodman…...
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CWM Attorneys Recognized by Virginia Super Lawyers®
Posted on April 7, 2016
Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, P.L.C. is pleased to announce that ten of its lawyers were included in the 2016 list of Virginia Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars.  According to Virginia…...
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Tidewater Arts Outreach Adds New Board Member
Posted on December 1, 2015
CWM attorney Steven M. Stancliff has been elected to serve a three year term on the Board of Directors for Tidewater Arts Outreach. Steve chairs CWM's Admiralty & Maritime Law practice…...
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Steven M. Stancliff Named Chair of the Firm's Admiralty & Maritime Practice Group
Posted on November 14, 2014
Mr. Stancliff joined the firm in 2007 following a distinguished career in the United States Coast Guard, retiring at the rank of Commander.  "Steve's background and expertise make him ideally…...
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James Chapman and Steve Stancliff represent partnership in win for rights to salvage gold treasure
Posted on July 10, 2014
CINCINNATI (AP) — A fugitive treasure hunter's company has lost its bid to stop deep-sea explorers from bringing up gold and other artifacts from a ship that sank off the…...
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