March 18, 2022 — The Association of Pacific Ports is pleased to welcome the Law Office of Alan K. Goldstein in the San Francisco Bay Area as our newest Associate Member. With an impressive career specializing in maritime law that spans more than 35 years, Alan Goldstein’s expertise in litigation, regulatory and transactional issues will be a welcome resource for APP Members. “Ports and those who do business with them in the 21st Century face many challenges that have important legal ramifications,” he said. “Because this is the industry that I have been part of for more than three decades, I look forward as a Member of the APP to trying to help meet those challenges and offer helpful solutions.”
Beginning his career in the 1980s, Goldstein graduated from Stanford Law School with the distinguished honor of the Order of the Coif. He clerked for the Honorable Thelton E. Henderson, Judge of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, before practicing law in San Francisco and then becoming a member of Goldstein and Price, LC, a maritime specialty firm, based in Saint Louis, Missouri. Goldstein returned to the Bay Area in recent years where he continues to specialize in maritime law, including issues affecting ports and companies that do business in them. In addition to numerous published works – for example, Recent Developments in Admiralty and Maritime Law, Demystifying the Jones Act, and The Marine Insurance Doctrine of Uberrimae Fidei or Utmost Good Faith – Goldstein has provided seminars on such issues as “Social Media and the Waterways”, “Environmental Liabilities in Real Estate Transactions”, and “Choosing the Right Commercial Structure for Your Marine Business.”
Accolades for Goldstein’s work are notable. He has been named in The Best Lawyers in America, and as a Super Lawyer in the fields of Transportation/Maritime and Insurance Coverage by Law & Politics. He has been recognized as both an AV-rated (the highest rating) Lawyer by Martindale Hubbell and an ALM Top Rated Litigator. He was appointed by the George W. Bush and Barrack Obama administrations to serve two terms on the Lower Mississippi River Water Safety Advisory Committee which advises the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security on navigation safety, including in the Port of New Orleans. He has testified by deposition as an expert witness in federal court litigation involving the meaning and proper application of shipping documents regarding a shipment of tires from China to the United States. Having relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2020, Goldstein is admitted to practice in California, Illinois, Missouri, and numerous federal jurisdictions. He has also represented U.S. clients in transactional and regulatory matters that relate to their international operations.
Whether working on behalf of ports or other companies in the transportation sector, Goldstein’s expertise in litigation, regulatory issues and transactional contracts provides a diverse portfolio. He has acted as General Counsel for maritime clients regarding all aspects of their operations including but not limited to the sale, purchase and leasing of maritime businesses, vessels and equipment, preparing their standard terms and conditions, and enforcing and defending their rights in court.His recent reported cases include SCF Waxler Marine LLC v, M/V ARIS T, et al., 2022 WL 202311 (5th Cir. 1/24/22) (represented prevailing party SCF in complex marine casualty case) and
Terral River Service and Navigators Insurance Company v. SCF Marine Inc. and Vessel Holdings 7, LLC, 20 F. 4th 1015 (5th Cir. 2021) (represented prevailing parties SCF and Vessel Holdings 7 in defeating $700,000 cargo loss claims; summary judgment affirmed on appeal; also successfully excluded expert testimony by plaintiffs’ surveyor and metallurgist).
When asked to highlight some of the issues facing the maritime industry today, Goldstein mentioned cyber security, adapting from paper-based to electronic transmission and formation of contracts and information, enhancing the efficiency of complex interfaces between ship, barge, rail, truck, terminal and pipeline movement of cargo, and the increasing demands of regulatory schemes such as the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act. For so many of these and other challenges, Goldstein said the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies. “Through in-house seminars with my clients and their supervisory personnel regarding regulatory obligations and how to deal with social media, evaluating their standard terms and conditions, and reviewing some of their operating procedures, we frequently are able to identify and mitigate legal risks and exposures. Typically, it costs a lot less money and aggravation to address those risks before, not after, they lead to claims and lawsuits,” he explained. Goldstein added that sometimes these issues present not only legal considerations but also insurance and accounting concerns that will involve his working with a company’s marine insurance broker and other professionals to find an effective solution.
Minimizing risk by identifying vulnerabilities and taking action to mitigate impacts in advance of trouble is a central theme in Goldstein’s practice and one that speaks to the mandate of the APP to provide guidance on best practices. We look forward to putting Goldstein’s expertise to good use through articles in Pacific Ports Magazine as well as opportunities to present his ideas and advice to the membership.
Welcome to the APP, Alan!