David W. Skeen


David W. Skeen


Phone (410) 659-1305 (direct dial)

Fax (410) 659-1350 (fax)

Email dskeen@wcslaw.com

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Areas of Practice

  • Maritime & Transportation
  • Insurance Defense
  • Litigation
  • Mediation/Arbitration


Listed in ““Who’s Who Legal Transport 2016”
Avvo Rated 10.0
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, for  Admiralty & Maritime Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation 1989-2017.

Listed in “The International Who’s Who of Shipping and Maritime Lawyers 2009”

AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
Maryland Super Lawyers®, 2007-2015


University of Maryland, J.D., 1973

Princeton University, A.B., History, 1968

Bar Admissions

Court of Appeals of Maryland (1973)

United States District Court for the District of Maryland (1973)

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit (1976)

Supreme Court of the United States (1987)

There are few areas of law in which knowledge of the industry is as crucial to successful resolution of legal disputes as in admiralty and maritime law.

Mr. Skeen has broad experience in transactional and litigation matters arising out of the transportation of goods and people by water involving both commercial and recreational vessels. As an active practitioner in the state and federal courts, Mr. Skeen has kept pace with the ever changing industry and rules that apply to business on the navigable waters of the United States.  Mr. Skeen has served as an assistant editor of American Maritime Cases (AMC) since 1976, and was named an editor in 2011. AMC is a premier resource for attorneys within the industry that publishes significant maritime court decisions from around the United States and foreign countries.

Mr. Skeen also represents clients in general litigation in the state and federal courts in other matters including fire and casualty, insurance coverage and defense, subrogation, personal injury and commercial litigation. He is an experienced mediator, arbitrator, and member of ADR Maryland.

Mr. Skeen is a lifelong resident of Maryland who has proudly contributed to the local community through professional groups and charities over the course of his career.


Marine insurers, shipowners, charterers, P&I Clubs, marine towing companies, dredge companies, marine contractors, marinas, shiprepair yards, cruise lines, international shippers, terminal operators, cargo insurers, recreational boatowners, marine lenders, marine suppliers, boat purchasers and sellers, container leasors, boat manufacturers, warehousemen, cargo owners, freight forwarders, brokers, agents, truckers, marine and treasure salvors, personal injury and death claimants.


Mr. Skeen has represented various interests in marine collisions, sinkings and capsizings, marine personal injury and death claims, tug and tow, property damage claims, cargo damage including physical damage, infestation, spoilage of produce, blood plasma temperature deviation cases, and others, cruise line, pilotage fees, Jones Act and Longshore Act status issues, maritime lien actions, arrest and attachments, judicial sales, mortgage foreclosures, maritime bankruptcies, repairyard issues, boat construction disputes, marine product liability cases, mariner licensing and wage issues, warehouse collapse, infestation and fire cases, trucking cases, shipper cases, recreational boating collisions, personal injury and death, marina theft and fire cases, towage contracts, vessel purchase and sale contracts, preferred ship mortgage preparation and filing, and marine insurance coverage cases.


The Maritime Law Association of the United States (1973-present)

Defense Research Institute, Admiralty Committee (1995-present)

American Bar Association, Committee on Admiralty and Maritime Law TIPS Section (1986-present)

President, Bar Association of Baltimore City (1990-1991), Chairman, Young Lawyers Section (1980-1981)

Maryland State Bar Association, Member, Board of Governors, (1981-1982)(1991-1993)

Litigation Counsel of America Trial Lawyer Honorary Society


Trained Mediator - ADRMARYLAND President (2002-2007); Secretary (1996 to 2002)

Chairman, Treatment Based Drug Court Committee, Baltimore City Circuit and District Courts (1994 to 2007)

Harmonie Group


Author: “What is Admiralty Law?“, 2-4 Federal Bar Association, Maryland Chapter Newsletter (Fall, 2013)

Author: “Admiralty Law Historical Exhibit Opens at U.S. District Courthouse in Baltimore,” WC&S Viewpoints (Summer/Fall 2011)

Editor, American Maritime Cases, (2011 – ) Assistant Editor 1976-2011

Author: “Liens and Liquidation: Preferences, Strong-Arm Clause, Fraudulent Transfers, Equitable Subordination, Priorities and other Lien Claims”, 59 Tulane Law Review, 1401 (1985)

WCS Newsletter Articles


Lecturer, Knox Marine Yacht Claims Conference

1997 Subrogation
1998 “Don’t mess up my case even before I get it” Advice for marine surveyors and claims handlers
2000 Yacht Policy Exclusions
2006 Recent Recreational Boating cases
2011 Recent Recreational Boating cases

Lecturer “Longshore Act Third-Party claims”, NBI Seminars (1993,1996)

Lecturer, Tulane Maritime Law Institute 1985 “Liens and Liquidation: Preferences, Strong-Arm Clause, Fraudulent Transfers, Equitable Subordination, Priorities and other Lien claims”