Stephen F. White


Stephen F. White


Phone (410) 659-1304 (direct dial)

Fax (410) 659-1350 (fax)

Email swhite@wcslaw.com

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Areas of Practice

  • Maritime & Transportation
  • Insurance Defense
  • Corporate & Business


Avvo Rated 10.0

Martindale-Hubbell's 2014 Washington D.C. & Baltimore’s Top Rated Lawyer

Maryland Super Lawyers®, 2009-2015 

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, for Admiralty & Maritime Law, 2008-2016

Selected by Who’s Who Legal for inclusion in “The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2010.”

Selected by Who’s Who Legal for inclusion in “The International Who’s Who of Shipping & Maritime Lawyers 2009.”

Private Pilot Certificate (SEL) with high performance endorsement


University of North Carolina Chapel Hill—1975 with honors

University of Maryland School of Law, J.D., 1982 with honors

Bar Admissions

All Maryland State and Federal courts

The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Third Circuit, and Federal Circuit, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court

Stephen White has spent the duration of his career working on the water or on behalf of those who do. He is a retired United States Navy Commander who has helped lead the Wright, Constable & Skeen maritime group since 1982.

Mr. White´s practice is concentrated in the area of admiralty and maritime law where he represents a wide range of clients. He has represented the full spectrum of those who work or make recreation of the water including marinas, repair yards, marine towers and salvors, recreational boaters, charterers, brokers, marine lenders, contractors, pile drivers, marine underwriters and insurance companies, vessel owners and seamen. He has had successful trial experience in a wide range of maritime and non-maritime litigation including personal injuries/wrongful death, Jones Act cases, fire litigation, maintenance and cure, long shoremens´ injuries, vessel arrests/attachments, foreclosure of maritime liens and preferred ship mortgages, recreational boating accidents/collisions, personal watercraft accidents, marine products liability, limitation of liability actions, Coast Guard hearings, cargo damage, towing and salvage.

“Steve is a bull dog of an attorney who is ferocious, persistent and more knowledgeable of his subject matter than any attorney I know,” said David Skeen, a partner of WC&S. “He is a team player who is known in the professional community and locally for being passionate about his work.”

Mr. White´s non-maritime pursuits include general civil litigation, insurance defense, subrogation, personal injury claims, commercial litigation, warehouse/trucking and workman´s compensation. Mr. White also acts as general counsel and advisor to numerous limited liability companies and corporations.

Mr. White’s mind is on the water both on and off the clock. Outside of the office, he can typically be found on his powerboat, a 1997 Sportcraft. 


Marine insurance, marinas, boat yards, towers, salvors, marine contractors/piledrivers, vessel owners, seamen, longshoremen, marine lenders/banks, cargo owners/underwriters, maritime lienholders, businesses.


Mr. White attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on a full Naval ROTC scholarship. He majored in Economics and graduated with Honors in 1975. After his Commissioning as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, Mr. White served aboard destroyers for four years where he qualified as Officer of the Deck, Surface Warfare Officer, and Combat Information Center Watch Officer. Mr. White left active duty with the Navy in 1979, and attended the University of Maryland School of Law from which he earned his Juris Doctor degree and graduated with Honors in 1982. While at U.M. he served as Editor-in-Chief, “International Trade Law Journal” (1981-82). After 20 years´ service, in 1996 Mr. White retired as a Commander from the U.S. Navy Reserves after serving in Naval Control of Shipping units and as Commanding Officer, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Det. A206. Mr. White has been an attorney with Wright, Constable & Skeen or its predecessors since 1982 and has been a partner since 1987.


Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers

Member, Bar Association of Baltimore City and Howard County

Member, Mid-Atlantic Mariners’ Club

Proctor in Admiralty and Member: The Recreational Boating Law Committee of the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

Member, Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute.

Marine Trades Association of Maryland, Yacht Brokers Committee

The Maryland State Bar Association (Chair, Admiralty Subcommittee, Intl. Comml. Law Section 1988-90)


Committee member, Boy Scout Troop 702 since 1999

Fort Meade Flying Activity

Praise Band, Mt. Zion U.M.C.

Harmonie Group


Mr. White has published numerous articles including the following titles:

“Marina Management: Review Your Slip Agreement in Preparation for Spring” (2009)

“Defining the Parameters of Punitive Damage Awards under Maritime Law: The Exxon Valdez Decision” (2008)

“Origins and Characteristics of Navigation and Trading Warranties” (2007)

“Marine Insurance and the Doctrine of Uberrimae Fidei” (2001)

“Limitation of Shipowners’ Liability” (2 parts)(2002)

“Pitfalls in Marine Casualty Reporting” (2005)

“In Peril: New Recommended Reading for Salvors” (2004)

“Propeller Guards: The Supreme Court Provides Some Answers and Many Questions” (2004)

“William Harvey v. Northern Ins. Co. of New York: First Maryland Decision to Uphold One-Year Suit Filing Limitation in Hull Insurance Policy” (2004)

“The M/T Mantinia: Contract Assistance Evolves into Pure Salvage” (2003)

“Phillips v. Sea Tow: Salvor’s Attempt to Establish State Court Remedy meets with Limited Success” (2003)

“Understanding Coast Guard Investigations” (2002)

“Maritime Bailment Law” (2002)

“Life Salvage: Added Incentive to Save Life at Sea” (2001)

“Professional Salvage Rewards: Still ‘More Liberal’” (2001)

“’Special Compensation’ Saves the Day: Salvage of the F/V Lindsey Jeanette” (2001)

“Co-Salvage: How to Slice the Pie” (2001)

“Minimizing Liability in Towing Contracts: How Low Can You Go?” (2001)

“Obtaining Security for Your Salvage Claim” (2001)

“Salvage Lien Characteristics” (2001)

“Treasure Salvage: Finders Keepers” (2001)

“Pitfalls in Marine Casualty Reporting” (2001)

“Salvage Law: The Inland Boundary” (2001)

“Salvage Convention of 1989: Rewarding Efforts to Protect the Environment” (2001)

“The Implied Warranty of Workmanlike Performance” (2001)

“Warranties of Seaworthiness in Marine Insurance” (2001)

“Understanding the Differences between Towing and Salvage” (2001)

“Maritime Debt Collection” (1999)

“Recent Developments in Admiralty Products Liability Law” MICPEL (1990)

“Longshoreman’s & Harbor Workers´ Compensation Act – Mutually Exclusive Remedies – Permanent, Partial Disability”, International Trade Law Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2, Spring-Summer (1981)


Mr. White has delivered lectures and seminars to many groups including the 2012 Virginia Charterboat Operators Conference; the 2011, 2008, 1995 and 1994 Maryland Marine Trades Association Annual Meetings; the 2011 Virginia Marine Trades Association Annual Meeting; the 2011, 2009 and 2008 Mid-Atlantic Mariners Club meetings; the 2012 and 2011 Annual Training Seminars at BOAT/US; the 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2007 Maryland Charterboat Operators Conferences; the 2010 Tidewater Marine Trades Association Conference; the 2008 AIMU Annual Meeting; the 2003 and 1998 C-Port Annual Conferences; the Chesapeake Bay Marine Towers’ Assn.; the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; the Washington D.C. Marina Operators’ Assn.; SUNY Maritime College; Anne Arundel Community College; and Dundalk Community College. Mr. White has spoken on a wide range of subjects including Marine Insurance Defenses (Limitation of Liability and Doctrine of Uberrimae Fidei); Marine Products Liability; Towing and Salvage; Marine Personal Injuries (including the Jones Act, Death on the High Seas Act, and general Maritime Law); Marine Cargo Claims; Recreational Boating Accidents/Fire/Collision; Marine Contracts; and Marine Debt Collection and Maritime Lien Enforcement; Coast Guard Investigations; and Wreck Removal and Disposal.