Tanner Honea


Tanner Honea

Prior to joining Freehill Hogan & Mahar, Tanner served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy on a guided missile destroyer and various patrol craft.  After qualifying as a deck and engineering watch officer within his first year as a commissioned officer, Tanner continued to expand his knowledge into all aspects of seamanship.  In 2009, Tanner was awarded second place as the U.S. Atlantic Fleet’s Junior Officer Ship Handler of the Year.  In addition to his engineering and deck duties, Tanner led eleven sailors responsible for the operation and maintenance of the destroyer’s missile system.  Later, Tanner was responsible for a patrol boat’s operations during two six-month deployments in the Persian Gulf where he led a maritime boarding party.

Following his service in the U.S. Navy, Tanner attended law school at the University of Houston Law Center in Houston, Texas.  In 2012, Tanner was a National Champion of the John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition hosted by Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.  In 2013, Tanner was also recognized as the Best Speaker in the same competition.  Tanner’s law school experiences included a summer internship with Judge Lynn N. Hughes of the United States Southern District of Texas.  He was also an active member of the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal and served as the journal’s Head Senior Articles Editor.

As an attorney, Tanner began his practice in Texas where he litigated a broad spectrum of cases, including:  maritime personal injury claims, vessel arrests, maritime casualties, contractual disputes, and insurance defense and subrogation claims.  Tanner joined Freehill Hogan & Mahar in 2017, and continues to expand his maritime legal experience.  He is active in all phases of the firm’s practice.

William J. Pallas

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.

Michael Fernandez

Michael Fernandez graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York in 1981 and thereafter sailed as a deck officer on a various types of commercial vessels including tankers, containerships and others. He holds an unlimited Master’s license issued by the United States Coast Guard. Mr. Fernandez received a J.D. from Rutgers Law School and joined Freehill Hogan & Mahar in 1990, where he has been a partner for over 15 years.

Mr. Fernandez’ practice has a particular emphasis on litigation and arbitration involving: marine casualties (collisions, fires, groundings and sinkings), cargo and contamination claims, shipboard investigations of all nature (cargo, hull and personal injury), intermodal claims, hazardous materials, marine pollution, charter party and bill of lading disputes, investigations and proceedings by state and federal agencies such as the USCG, NTSB, DOJ and OSHA. He also advises clients as to contractual matters including: terminal/stevedoring agreements, slot charters, vessel sharing agreements, service contracts, contracts of carriage and insurance coverage.

His sea-going background and experience provide Mr. Fernandez with unique insight and expertise while conducting shipboard investigations, reviewing vessel records, interfacing with crewmembers and interacting with state and federal agencies.

Mr. Fernandez is also a member of the Maritime Criminal Defense Group at the firm and routinely defends both corporations and individuals in matters involving the alleged by-passing of oily water separators and other MARPOL related violations, pollution and civil/ criminal enforcement actions. He has dealt with such cases in numerous jurisdictions, including, for example, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Maryland, California, Georgia and North Carolina.

Mr. Fernandez routinely conducts internal investigations and lectures clients on best practices for claims handling, enhanced MARPOL compliance, training of crews and the role of counsel during investigations both in the USA and abroad. He has been selected as a leading lawyer in publications such as Chambers Global, Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and The Best Lawyers in America.

Mr. Fernandez has been selected by Best Lawyers in America from 2013 through 2020 and was listed in 2008 and 2017 by The Legal 500 USA. He has been named a New York Super Lawyer from 2013 to 2017, and is listed among the world’s leading transport lawyers in Who’s Who Legal: Transport 2016 through 2017. Chambers 2018 designated him as a “notable practitioner.” In 2019, Mr. Fernandez was confirmed as an expert in maritime law by Euromoney’s International Trade & Shipping Guide.

Barbara G. Carnevale

Ms. Carnevale graduated with Honors in 1975 from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and was a 1985 graduate of Brooklyn Law School. Before entering law school, she worked as a Legal Assistant at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft primarily on a military vessel construction arbitration and then in the Chartering Department of Bunge Corporation where she handled charter party disputes and arbitration submissions. Upon graduation from law school, she joined Freehill Hogan & Mahar as an associate. Her primary areas of specialty involve cargo claims, charter party disputes and contract drafting.

Thomas M. Canevari

Mr. Canevari graduated with Honors from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1982 with an unlimited horsepower Third Assistant Engineer license for steam and motor vessels. He then worked for 6 years as a Development Test Engineer on gas turbine engines before joining the firm in 1989.

Mr. Canevari concentrates on marine personal injury and death cases, including the defense of occupational disease claims. He has represented shipowners in cases dealing with collisions, allisions, fire, engine damage and oil spill response, investigation and litigation. His background and experience on steam powered vessels provide Mr. Canevari with unique insight and expertise in defending marine asbestos claims.

Mr. Canevari has dealt with cases in numerous jurisdictions, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. He has been national coordinating counsel for asbestos matters for an international gas turbine manufacturer since 2004 and he represents the International Group of P&I Clubs’ Industrial Disease Subcommittee.

Mr. Canevari holds the highest AV preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been ranked as a leading maritime attorney by such publications as The Best Lawyers in America Guide and Moffly Media.  Mr. Canevari was also received the 2017 Client Choice Award for New York in the field of Shipping and Transport Law. In 2019 Mr. Canevari was confirmed as an expert in maritime law by Euromoney’s International Trade & Shipping Guide.

Wayne D. Meehan

Mr. Meehan graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy with honors in 1976. After graduation, he sailed as Third, Second and Chief Officer aboard American Flag, oceangoing vessels. He earned his law degree at Boston University School of Law and joined the firm in 1984.

Mr. Meehan has more than 30 years experience handling all types of marine claims. He has developed a particular expertise in all types of marine casualties, and is well versed in casualty-related issues such as general average, limitation of liability, salvage and OPA 90 liabilities. Chambers USA notes that his ability to “handle major litigation sensibly and effectively” has elevated his reputation to such an extent that several commentators described him as the “best in the firm.”

Chambers USA 2018 reports sources declaring Mr. Meehan a “premier casualty lawyer”, valued for being “really pragmatic and upfront.”

Chambers advises that, according to impressed clients, he is “the best casualty responder bar none” and he is “very good at managing major litigation, dealing with the authorities and maintaining an overview of the situation in different locations…” He is noted by Chambers for his “down-to-earth and quietly effective” approach and clients advise that he approaches cases with a “high level of energy” and has the ability to “rapidly grasp the important issues and what’s needed.” According to Chambers, “he is praised for his first-class knowledge of the ‘technical aspects of shipping’ and for his deep knowledge of the industry.”

Clients advise Best Lawyers that he “is reassuring, usually when all around are under stress,” and that, “if you have a big marine casualty, there is none better to handle it than Wayne Meehan.”

Mr. Meehan has extensive experience representing clients at U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board hearings. He has tried cases in Federal Court throughout the country and has handled various appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In addition to litigation, Mr. Meehan has assisted clients in negotiating and drafting charter parties, contracts of affreightment, shipbuilding and ship repair contracts, and joint venture agreements.

Eric J. Matheson

Eric Matheson brings a diverse maritime background to Freehill Hogan & Mahar. Mr. Matheson is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, where he received a Bachelors of Science in Marine Operations and Technology, a marine transportation program enhanced with marine engineering studies. He served in the U.S. Navy on a guided missile frigate as both a deck and engineering officer. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard Unlimited Third Mate’s License.

Following his service in the U.S. Navy, Mr. Matheson obtained his law degree from Villanova University School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Villanova Environmental Law Journal.

Mr. Matheson works on a variety of matters, using his legal skills as well as his technical background in Marine Operations and Technology and his experience at sea on a variety of vessels. He has worked with Vessel Data Recorders (VDR) and other recording systems in accident reconstruction involving collision, grounding, sinking, and other vessel casualties. He has worked on cases involving modern vessel incinerators and oily water separators (OWS) which involve computerized data and the tracking of use and function of ship’s equipment. He is active in both litigation and arbitration involving ship sale, vessel collision, electrical fires, power outages, sinkings, loss of cargo, safe port/safe berth warranties, and the mechanical failure of intermodal equipment, including cranes, tractors, brake systems, and refrigeration systems. He also has experience in cases involving sensitive chemical cargo contamination claims.  Mr. Matheson has been named a Rising Star in the field of maritime law from 2015 through 2019 by New York Super Lawyers, and in 2018 was listed as a recommended attorney by The Legal 500. In 2019, The Legal 500 named him as a “Next Generation Partner.”

Don P. Murnane, Jr.

Mr. Murnane has more than 35 years’ experience handling a wide variety of domestic and international contract and tort maritime litigations and arbitrations. He was recently selected by his peers as the 2022 “Best Lawyers -Admiralty Lawyer of the Year” for New York. In 2019 The Euromoney Best of the Best Global Expert Guide ranked Mr. Murnane in the top thirty maritime and shipping lawyers worldwide. He is rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubble and has been annually recognized for many years as a leading maritime attorney by The Best Lawyers in America Guide; Expert Guide Best of the Best USA; Chambers USA; New York Super Lawyers Magazine and The International Who’s Who of Shipping and Maritime Lawyers.

Mr. Murnane graduated with highest honors from the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point in 1982 where he ranked second in his graduating class. He earned his law degree at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C. where he was on the Dean’s List and began practicing maritime law in 1986 (first with former Haight, Gardner Poor & Havens LLP in New York, and then joining FHM as a partner in 1997). Chambers USA named him “an expert litigator” described by his clients as “simply a great advocate”; “a practical attorney …sensitive to the client’s needs”; “really excellent: he does not waste time on tangential disputes and gets right to the heart of things”; a “fierce litigator” with a “calm, deliberative and bright” litigation style. A client told Best Lawyers: “Don Murnane is more than a safe pair of hands. You know you will get the best result for the deck of cards which you may have been dealt.”

Mr. Murnane has acted as lead counsel on disputes involving vessel and marine terminal casualties, international commercial fraud, time and voyage charters, terminal agreements and liner service contracts. His practice frequently involves issues of international conflicts of law including jurisdiction and forum disputes. Mr. Murnane is a leading expert on the investigation and litigation of sophisticated chemical product tanker disputes. He has represented one of the world’s largest chemical tanker owner-operators for more than 30 years. He also possesses expertise with perishable goods litigation and U.S. government contract disputes. For the last several years he has represented a major U.S. flag container vessel operator providing wartime intermodal transportation of U.S. military goods to and from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mr. Murnane has testified in foreign litigation as a trial expert on U.S. maritime law and has served as an arbitrator including as tribunal chairman. He is the immediate past Chair of the U.S. Maritime Law Association’s Liaison Committee to the Society of Maritime Arbitrators, Inc., New York and currently the US Maritime Law Association Co-opted Delegate to BIMCO’s Documentary Committee. He has authored articles and lectured publicly and for clients in the U.S. and abroad on a range of maritime law, litigation and arbitration topics. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Murnane worked for a shipping company and sailed as a deck officer aboard various types of oceangoing ships and inland marine vessels in both foreign and domestic trade.

When not practicing law, Don enjoys training bird dogs and is an avid outdoorsman.