Douglas Shoemaker

Blank Rome LLP

Douglas J. Shoemaker is a member of our Maritime Emergency Response Team (“MERT”). Douglas focuses his practice on complex maritime transactions and litigation. He has over 25 years’ experience advising clients on a wide range maritime law topics, including charterpartynegotiation and drafting, arbitration, vessel construction and flagging, purchase and sale, and mergers and acquisitions, personal injury, property damage, pollution, onboard investigations, navigational error, Jones Act, stevedoring accidents, cargo damage defense, and general average. He has particular experience in:

  • negotiating and drafting complex maritime agreements, including vessel construction, purchase and sale; time, voyage and bareboat charterparties; towage; contracts of affreightment; bills of lading; master services agreements; general terms and conditions; indemnity and insurance provisions
  • defending maritime personal injury and property damage cases in state and federal courts
  • arbitrations before the Society of Maritime Arbitrators in New York, the London Maritime Arbitrators Association, the Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association, the American Arbitrators Association, and JAMS
  • defending and prosecuting maritime seizure proceedings
  • insurance defense and coverage
  • domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, particularly concerning maritime assets and issues

Douglas has worked as a master mariner licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Chambers USA states that clients describe Douglas as “very personable and very knowledgeable” and “thoughtful and pragmatic, while being very aggressive and thorough in terms of representation.” “One observer reports: ‘His greatest strengths are his practical application of his broad experience and an ability to identify the critical issues.’”

Douglas is also an avid sailor, having grown up racing Star class, J-24s, and J-22s. He also enjoys sporting clays and working out with F3. He provides pro bono assistance through the Houston Bar Association LegalLines and the Houston Volunteer Lawyers VA Hospital Legal Clinic. Douglas is active with his church and his children’s schools, and with fundraising serves on the board for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.  GI Clinic S.C.O.P.E. Race (“Sprint for Colorectal Oncology, Prevention and Education”).


  • Lead counsel in acquisition of shipyards and drydocks in Mobile, Alabama and Pascagoula, Mississippi
  • Lead counsel in shipbuilding agreement, financing, time charter and purchase option for polar expedition cruise vessel in excess of €106 million
  • Lead counsel for 10 vessel newbuild project valued in excess of $100 million
  • Lead counsel in negotiation for new build construction agreement for articulated tug barge unit valued in excess of $50 million
  • Lead counsel defending a stevedore in a fatality lawsuit in Brownsville, Texas, involving a truck driver crushed by falling steel cargo
  • Lead maritime counsel for the financing, acquisition, reflagging, refurbishment, charter, and heavy lift transportation of a $68.5 million offshore drilling rig
  • Co-counsel in a five-day trial representing the owner of an offshore construction support vessel in a dispute with a charterer over the formation of a charterparty
  • Lead counsel in a lawsuit for a breach of contract for an offshore platform component part supplier, prevailing before the appellate court
  • Lead counsel in a SMA arbitration in New York representing a charterer in a dispute with a vessel owner over a seaworthiness warranty, prevailing on all claims and obtaining a full award for attorney’s fees
  • Lead counsel representing a vessel owner in Shipowner’s Limitation of Liability Act proceedings concerning a shipboard fire with three fatalities
  • Lead counsel representing a Jones Act employer in an emergency search and rescue and subsequent federal court lawsuits concerning an offshore platform support vessel crew member suicide
  • Lead counsel representing a major regional stevedore in numerous personal injury and cargo lawsuits and claims, and including nearly all aspects of stevedore liability exposure.
  • Lead counsel in multiple SMA arbitrations in New York and HMAA, AAA, and JAMS arbitrations in Houston
  • Co-counsel representing cargo interests in multiple general average incidents with adjustments in New York and London
  • Extensive experience with shipboard investigations of personal injuries, vessel collisions and allisions, and environmental incidents
  • Lead counsel prosecuting or defending 100+ maritime seizure proceedings in federal courts throughout Texas Gulf Coast
  • Drafted and negotiated 1,000+ voyage, time and bareboat charterparties
  • Represented the purchaser or seller in 100+ major commercial vessel transactions, including documentation under U.S. and foreign-flags


  • Bradley University, BA, magna cum laude
  • Tulane University, JD, cum laude


  • Texas


  • Houston Bar Association
  • Houston Mariners Club
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
  • State Bar of Texas


Rate : $$$

What types of cases Attorney Douglas Shoemaker & Blank Rome LLP can handle?
Blank Rome LLP can handle cases related to laws concerning Litigation, Business, Mergers & Acquisitions, International Law, Energy Utilities & Environmental. We manually verify each attorney’s practice areas before approving their profiles and reviews on our website.
Where is Blank Rome LLP located?
Blank Rome LLP is located at 717 Texas Ave #1400, Houston, TX 77002, USA. You can reach out to Blank Rome LLP using their phone line 713.632.8646. You can also check their website or email them at [email protected].
How much would it cost to hire Blank Rome LLP?
Douglas Shoemaker lawyer charges are specific to each case. However, they work with contingency fees and its ranges from $$ to $$$. They also provide free consultation [and no obligation quotes] if you are interested to hire.
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Blank Rome LLP
717 Texas Ave #1400, Houston, TX 77002, USA
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