Kathleen O’Brien

Attorneys

Kathleen O’Brien

Katie O'Brien 11/13/19

Kathleen O’Brien graduated from Roger William University School of Law in 2018, where she focused her studies on admiralty and maritime law. While at RWU, Ms. O’Brien was president of the Maritime Law Society, and received the Maritime Achievement Award and William J. Coffey Excellence in Maritime Writing Award from her school. She also participated in the Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition, where she received third place for best oral advocate in the competition in 2018. During law school, Ms. O’Brien interned at the United States Department of Justice in the Aviation and Admiralty Litigation Office and worked alongside corporate counsel for a prominent shipping agency in Providence, Rhode Island throughout her 3L year.

Prior to joining Freehill Hogan & Mahar in 2019, Ms. O’Brien was a law clerk to the Honorable Dennis R. O’Brien, J.S.C., in the Superior Court of New Jersey from 2018-2019. She has been racing sailboats competitively since she was young, and regularly draws from her experience on and off the water. Ms. O’Brien is active in all phases of the firm’s practice.

Cody D. King

Cody King 2-8-19

Cody King graduated from Tulane University Law School in 2018 with a certificate of specialization in maritime law. While at Tulane, Mr. King was a member of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal, the Tulane Mock Trial Team, and prepared translations of Chinese maritime legal decisions for a database launched by the Tulane Maritime Law Center and the Shanghai International Shipping Institute of Shanghai Maritime University.

Mr. King completed Tulane’s Maritime Law, Law of the Sea, and Ocean Management program in Greece in 2016. While in Greece, he interned for a major Greek ocean carrier and a prominent Greek maritime law firm.

Additionally, he spent a significant amount of time in China where he worked at law firms in Shanghai and Guangzhou. While in China, he was the first law student to study at Dalian Maritime University as a U.S. exchange student. In Dalian, Mr. King continued studying Mandarin Chinese, which he began studying as an undergraduate. He excelled in courses requisite for HSK level five, which is required to attend graduate level courses taught in Chinese at Chinese universities. He draws from this diverse background and is active in all of the firm’s practice areas.

Adam E. Deitz

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Adam Deitz received his law degree from Roger Williams University School of Law, where he was President of the Maritime Law Society. Before joining Freehill Hogan & Mahar in 2017, Adam clerked for the United States Coast Guard District 1 Legal in 2013. He has practiced maritime law in the greater New York area since 2014.  Adam has maintained his Master Mariner Credentials since 2010, operating vessels up to 100 GT in the Tennessee Valley River system and throughout New England. He is active in all phases of the firm’s practice.

Peter J. Gutowski

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Mr. Gutowski graduated with a BA from Columbia University in New York in 1978.  He earned his law degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, where he graduated cum laude with a concentration in international transportation law. Immediately after graduation in 1981, he joined Freehill Hogan & Mahar as an associate, became a partner in 1987 and has remained with the firm throughout his career.

Mr. Gutowski’s practice focuses on both international and domestic transportation related matters, many of which involve complex legal and factual issues.  He has been described by Chambers as an “aggressive, clear-minded and decisive” attorney, capable of navigating the “tough cases.”  Routinely ranked among the highest tier of attorneys in Best Lawyers, Who’s Who Legal and Chambers, he has been credited as “dedicated and extremely hard working” (Best Lawyers 2012), a “damn fine and deeply knowledgeable lawyer who stays in control and tries a lot of cases”, and an individual who can cut through “all the mist and target what’s needed.” Recently, one of his peers commented that: “I would hire him for my personal affairs – that is the best recommendation I could give.”  Chambers Global 2014.

With more than thirty years of litigation and arbitral experience, Mr. Gutowski has served as lead counsel in a variety of high profile transportation related casualty and contract disputes from situations around the globe.  Of late, he recovered in excess of $34 million for a foreign client in an arbitration involving the breach of a long term COA for the supply of asphalt, successfully defended a vessel charterer in a total loss claim lodged by the owner for damages in excess of $30 million involving the sinking of a container vessel, and participated in the successful prosecution of a US-based product manufacturer in a multi-million dollar fire case.  His practice includes a concentration on commodities related matters and sale and purchase agreements.  Recent cases include the successful prosecution of claims for a multi-million dollar breach by the buyer of LPG under a long term sales agreement and the recovery of a multi-million dollar award for breach of a vessel sale agreement against a major US agribusiness entity. He also regularly counsels clients in ongoing disputes involving all aspects of transportation and international sales agreements, and assists with the drafting of sales and other commercial agreements including asset purchase agreements and service contracts.  He practices in both state and federal court, as well as in arbitration before the New York SMA and AAA’s international division, the ICDR.  Mr. Gutowski has particular expertise with provisional remedies (such as the arrest and attachment mechanisms) in both domestic and international arenas and has handled a myriad of veil piercing cases and matters touching on international jurisdictional disputes.

Mr. Gutowski has also served as a commercial arbitrator, has presented papers/made presentations on corporate veil piercing issues, security proceedings and fraud claims, and recently co-authored the US section of the Shipping International Trade Law text published by Sweet & Maxwell, a division of Thomson Reuters. Recently described by Chambers as an “excellent lawyer who is good on his feet, articulate and skillful” and a “smart practitioner who “really looks out for his clients’ interest”, Mr. Gutowski brings to his cases a balanced approach grounded on many years of practical, commercial experience and legal acumen, “properly aggressive” when necessary, but always with the clients’ ultimate best interest in mind.

On a personal level, Pete enjoys skiing, sailing and all types of outdoor activities.  He regularly participates in triathlons and obstacle course races, including Ironman, Spartan and Tough Mudder competitions.  He brings to his cases the same level of enthusiasm and energy he devotes to his extracurricular activities.

William H. Yost

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Will Yost received his law degree from Roger Williams University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and the Maritime Law Society. A summer associate at Freehill Hogan & Mahar in 2012, Will joined the firm as an associate in August 2013. He is active in all phases of the firm’s practice.

Michael E. Unger

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Since receiving his law degree from St. John’s University in 1991, Mr. Unger has exclusively practiced maritime law. He joined Freehill in 2002 and has been a partner for 11 years. Mr. Unger’s practice includes a particular emphasis on litigation and arbitration involving charter party and bill of lading disputes, cargo and contamination claims, marine torts, casualties, advising clients as to contractual matters, and the defense of personal injury cases involving longshoremen, passengers and seamen. Additionally, Mr. Unger has a significant amount of experience in the exercise of provisional remedies such as arrest and attachment, both domestic and foreign, and in collection of judgments and arbitral awards.  Mr. Unger also represents clients in respect to MARPOL and other pollution violations and issues.

Mr. Unger is an experienced litigator, and has been lead counsel on numerous cases argued before the Federal Courts in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as to the Courts of Appeals in the Second and Third Circuits. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Mr. Unger has been ranked as a leading maritime attorney by The Best Lawyers in America Guide, 2013-2020, has been named a New York Super Lawyer for 2014-2017. He also has been ranked as a Leading Individual in shipping litigation by Chambers USA for 2015-2019 and as a recommended attorney by The Legal 500 for 2018 and 2019.

Michael D. Tucker

Mike Tucker 11/13/19

Michael Tucker is a 2009 graduate of Roger Williams University School of Law, where he was a member of the Maritime Law Society. During law school, Mr. Tucker served as a summer associate at Freehill, Hogan & Mahar and also served as a summer clerk with the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, Post Conviction Relief Unit.

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Tucker worked for three years as an Operation Manager in the operations department of a major liner service, managing the daily operations of voyages for the company’s Western Hemispheric fleet. Mr. Tucker is active in all phases of the firm’s practice and is currently involved in a broad range of maritime and commercial matters, with particular experience in the areas of cargo loss and damage, commercial litigation, and personal injury under the Defense Base Act, Jones Act, and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

James L. Ross

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As a partner with the firm, Mr. Ross has extensive experience in handling litigations before the State and Federal Courts in New York and New Jersey, as well as mediations and arbitrations. He has represented clients, including vessel Owners and Charterers, in litigations, mediations and arbitrations relating to:

  • Commercial contract disputes
  • Charter Party disputes
  • Fire and explosion casualties
  • Loss of containers overboard
  • Dry and liquid cargo damage/contamination claims
  • Dock damage claims
  • Collisions /Allisions
  • Off-Spec bunker disputes
  • Maritime liens
  • General Average
  • Hull and P&I insurance matters

Mr. Ross has received the highest AV preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been annually rated as a leading maritime attorney by publications such as New York Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America Guide.

William J. Pallas

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Mr. Pallas graduated from Georgetown University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He received his law degree from Tulane Law School in 1994, cum laude, with a Certificate of Maritime Law, where he served as Managing Editor of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal. Having previously worked with the firm as a summer associate, he joined the firm in 1994 as an associate and became a Partner in 2003. Mr. Pallas’ practice concentrates on intermodal cargo loss and damage cases. He also has extensive experience with marine casualties, civil and criminal environmental defense, charter party disputes, commercial litigation, personal injury matters and ship finance. Mr. Pallas has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the The Best Lawyers in America Guide in the field of maritime law from 2017 through 2020 and has been highlighted in The Legal 500 – USA for 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Manuel A. Molina

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Manuel Molina brings diverse legal experience to the practice of maritime law. He earned both his undergraduate degree as well as a Master’s Degree in Modern European History from Columbia University. Thereafter, Mr. Molina attended Georgetown Law School, where he was Associate Editor of the Immigration Law Journal. After working several years for a law firm in Washington, D.C. specializing in international trade, he then spent a number of years with MFY Legal Services in New York, providing legal services to the poor.

Deciding to refocus his practice, Mr. Molina studied at Università degli Studi di Bologna from 1993 to 1994, receiving a LL.M. in European Community Law and serving as a guest lecturer. Upon returning to the U.S. in 1995, he began his career in maritime law. Mr. Molina has been involved in a wide range of litigation and arbitration matters including cargo claims, charter party disputes, maritime attachments, vessel arrests, commodities sales contracts, letters of credit issues and disputes relating to international law. Mr. Molina is annually rated as a leading maritime attorney by The Best Lawyers in America.

Languages:
Spanish
Italian
French