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About me

Jim Chapman has 25 years of experience in private practice, primarily handling maritime, railroad and business law matters. He has served as lead counsel in many cases and has personally tried over 75 cases to verdict in both state and federal courts. Jim also counsels senior management of private and publicly held companies, as well as non-profit foundations, on liability and corporate governance matters. Prior to entering private practice, Jim served on active duty as a prosecutor in the United States Army J.A.G. Corps from 1982 to 1986 and tried over 50 courts martial to guilty verdicts for offenses ranging from drug distribution to murder.


Mr. Chapmen is the Practice Group Chair for the firm's Admiralty & Maritime Law Practice Group, as well as the firm's Litigation Practice Group, Railroad & Transit Practice Group and Subrogation Practice Group.


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Practice areas


  1. Admiralty & Maritime: 50%
    29 years
  2. Transportation: 30%
    29 years
  3. Business: 20%
    29 years

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Contact info

Crenshaw, Ware & Martin

150 West Main Street, Suite 1500
Norfolk, VA, 23510-2111


VAAuthorized to practice law198209/15/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Best Lawyers - Admiralty/Maritime & Commercial Litigation)Best Lawyers in America2015
Listed in Virginia Super Lawyers (Transportation/Maritime)Virginia Super Lawyers2014
Best Lawyers - Admiralty & Maritime and Commercial LitigationBest Lawyers in America2014
Listed in Virginia's Super LawyersVirginia Super Lawyers2013
Selected as a Top Rated Lawyer In TransportationAmerican Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell2013
Listed in Virginia's Super LawyersVirginia Super Lawyers2012
Listed in Virginia's Super LawyersVirginia Super Lawyers2011
Listed in Virginia's Super LawyersVirginia Super Lawyers2010
Listed in Virginia's Super LawyersVirginia Super Lawyers2009
Listed in Virginia's Super LawyersVirginia Super Lawyers2008
Listed in Virginia's Super LawyersVirginia Super Lawyers2007
Best Lawyers - AdmiraltyBest Lawyers in America2007
Listed in Virginia's Super LawyersVirginia Super Lawyers2006
AV RatingMartindale-Hubbell1998
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerCrenshaw, Ware & Martin1989 - Present
AssociateKaufman & Canoles1986 - 1989
CaptainUnited States Army, J.A.G. Corps1982 - 1986
Association namePosition nameDuration
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State UniversityRector, Board of Visitors2014 - Present
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State UniversityBoard of Visitors2013 - Present
National Association of Railroad Trial CounselN/A1996 - Present
Navy League of the United StatesNational Judge Advocate - 2005-20091993 - Present
Maritime Law Association of the United StatesN/A1988 - Present
Southeast Admiralty Law InstituteChairman - 19971986 - Present
National Association of Subrogation ProfessionalsMemberN/A
Future of Hampton Roads, Inc.President, 2000 -2001N/A
Rotary, Norfolk Sunrise ClubPresident, 2013 - 2014N/A
Federation of Defense and Corporate CounselMemberN/A
Defense Research Institute, Law InstituteN/AN/A
I'Anson-Hoffman American Inn of CourtPresident, 2011-2012N/A
Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Virginia Bar AssociationMemberN/A
American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
North Carolina Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Rail Road Co. v. M/V MARLINAwarded $286,456.00, plus prejudgment interest.
Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad Co. v. M/V MARLINVerdict for my client
MidAtlantic Int'l, Inc. v. AGC Flat Glass N. Am., Inc., 497 Fed. Appx. 279 (4th Cir. 2012)N/A
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
University of San Francisco Maritime Law JournalCargo Litigation: A Primer on Cargo Claims and Review of Recent Developments2004
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Washington and Lee University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1982
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityHistoryN/A1979
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
2014 Shipping & Martime Law RoundtableShipping & Maritime Law 20142014
NPBA SeminarDeconstructing a Jury Trial2011
SEALI Annual MeetingRed Letter Clauses in Marina Slip Leases2008
Handling Marine Claims - Recent DevelopmentsMarine Insurance Claims and Practice2007
Southeast Admiralty Law Institute Annual MeetingTen Tempting (But Improper) Closing Arguments2004