Skip to main content
Adam Jay Jaffe

Adam Jaffe’s Answers

956 total

  • Can I go after a marina for damages to my boat from Super Storm Sandy?

    The marina didn't allow me in the boat yard 2 days in advance of the storm to secure my boat, this ultimately caused my vessel to sink in the storm. After the storm I wasn't allowed in to assess damage to my vessel for 3mos, during which time the ...

    Adam’s Answer

    You have multiple issues here, some you have not been identified. First, the marina has a lien against your boat for the storage fees in alleged arrears. This means the boat can be seized and sold at auction.

    Second as it relates to the damage to vessel, yes, you can sue. Whether or not you are successful is an entirely different story. I would contact a local maritime attorney ASAP to discuss all of these issue. There could be other issues which are not readily apparent based on what is written here!

    See question 
  • Can I be taken to small claims court internationally for a boat sale?

    Recently, I have sold a boat and out of ignorance it was advertised as a 98 but after signing the transfer of title the Canadian border inspector pointed out it is a 95. The private bill of sale both parties signed states a 98. It is no longer in ...

    Adam’s Answer

    Generally, under MOST state's laws, when the parties to a contract are MUTUALLY mistaken about an essential fact, the court will do 1 of 2 (or more things): 1) fix the contract; 2) cancel the contract.

    If #1, no big deal. If #2, then you have to give money back and they have to give the boat back.

    As Mr. Richard said, there is no such thing as International Small Claims Court. US State Court systems (as far as I know) all require that the person to be sued be residing in the jurisdiction where the harm took place. In you case, that is in ND, and NOT Canada. Most State Court Small Claims systems (as far as I am aware) do not permit the suit of a foreign defendant. As such, it is likely possible that Canada has the same protections, though I cannot guarantee. In short, if you are to be sued, it will be in ND. If you are sued, I would not imagine that you would lose anything other than restoring the parties back to the position they were in BEFORE the contact was created.

    Obviously, I cannot guarantee anything and I am only licensed to practice law in Calif. That being said, a relatively harmless error is not such a big thing.

    See question 
  • Boating accident.

    We were in a boating accident about a week ago. The boat that hit us got charged with speeding. How do I go about getting my medical bills paid

    Adam’s Answer

    As the previous attorney's suggested, contact an attorney with experience in admiralty/maritime law. Getting your medical bills paid, will ALMOST certainly require the filing of a lawsuit. It is possible to do it through insurance, but it is better to get the legal advice.

    There are other aspects to consider, which are too many to name here, but could include: licensing with USCG, who wrote the ticket, was it JUST for speeding (e.g. not any other reason(s), etc.)

    Contact a GA licensed maritime attorney. You can find one here on, on, or

    See question 
  • I let a friend borrow my boat. He sank it . was wondering if he is financialy responsible for replacing the boat

    I let him borrow my boat while I was on vacation. Boat was sea worthy. Pretty sure he didn't put the plug in it properly and it came out. Error on his part

    Adam’s Answer

    There may be State Statutes that deal with lending of personal property and it is later damaged. This is VERY common with automobiles.

    Though Mr. Richard is correct with the maritime law jurisdictional issue, I think there is something else to be concerned with: rescuing the boat. If it causes ANY kind of environmental harm (oil, water hazard, etc.) you will be on the hook for it as the owner of the boat. This does not mean, however, that you cannot get him to pay for any associated legal costs.

    You definitely need to consult with a maritime attorney. You can find one here on or

    See question 
  • Hi i left my boat at a marina 3 weeks ago and got it back with other damage and the problem still not fixed (paid in full )

    The boat isn't fixed and other damage done to the boat ... I had to call the cops to get the boat out because I was told I can't see it unless I pay first and cash only and I figured theres something not right with the way they are keeping it away...

    Adam’s Answer

    Not an uncommon problem. PROBABLY violates a State law. If you have your boat, and it is trailerable, move it, hide it, and bring a civil suit for damages. Make sure to get a police report.

    Contact a maritime attorney in NJ to assist you. There are nuances if not done right. You can find one here on or

    See question 
  • Seller in Texas sold a boat claiming it was perfect and had major issues??

    this is second time I am asking for some help . I recently purchased a boat from a seller in Beaumont Texas and ad and seller said gas tanks are in perfect condition and after paying seller 20 min as I was driving away I asked for a refund and or ...

    Adam’s Answer

    This is one of those scenarios where it would seem like maritime law is appropriate, but it probably is not necessary. You have a seemingly simple claim for:
    1) breach of contract;
    2) intentional misrepresentation;
    3) negligent misrepresentation.

    If the seller knew there was a defect, it is possible that you can get punitive damages, if this were to go to trial. Short of punitive damages, I am not sure many lawyers would take this on contingency.

    As I am not a TX lawyer and can only give general advice (e.g. not state specific), I would encourage you to look into the TX Small Claims System. If you can sue for up to $10,000, it may be worth while.

    It is also worth noting that winning in court is relatively easy. The collection part is always hard.

    I encourage you to look for a TX Maritime Attorney here on You can also go to or

    See question 
  • I am a merchant marine covered under the jones act for garnishments. Does this also cover my spouse?

    My wife is being garnished for student loans. Does the jones act cover her also?

    Adam’s Answer

    No. Jones Act, effectively, covers people who work on a boat, for the benefit of a boat, and makes sure they get paid their medical care and wages.

    Of course, it is more complex than this, but anything to the contrary about student loans is misinformation.

    See question 
  • Can i sue a cruise line

    my family and I was a vacation trip on Norwegian , was and insident on boad

    Adam’s Answer

    Without knowing more, you need to contact a Maritime Attorney. If there was personal injury, then a Maritime Attorney that concentrates or specializes in Personal Injury cases. You can look here on, or at, or

    Note, as one of my colleagues has indicated, there is a mandatory forum selection clause (e.g. where a lawsuit must be filed) written on the back of your ticket. Therefore, be prepared to litigate in Miami. You may also have an arbitration clause. Be prepared for this as well. Finally, your rights may be limited if you do not do something within a defined period of time. As such, contact a maritime attorney ASAP!!!

    See question 
  • Can my boat be evicted by new marina owners if I have a contract and have paid in advance?

    Last November I put my boat into a slip at a marina on the California Delta. At the time I signed a 1 year lease and paid in full, to which I have copies of everything. This past weekend I arrived at my boat to find a note posted on the windshie...

    Adam’s Answer

    Probably not. Without reviewing any documents, I cannot speak to specifics, nor could any attorney. However, despite the "salty" flavor of your issue as it involves a vessel, the issue for you is really a glamorous landlord-tenant issue.

    There are many maritime attorney's in the Greater Sac. area. Look here on or for further assistance. Barring that, look for a landlord-tenant attorney. There is landlord-tenant law here in CA that is specific to Marinas. The law should be in your favor.

    See question 
  • No one wants to take my case. Its a jones act. Why is that?

    I was at work on a Derrick Barge. And i woke up one morning and my back was killing me. I ended up getting sent to the doctor that my company uses. Eventually he sent me on my way. Company sent me home hoping I would get better. It got worse! I we...

    Adam’s Answer

    Depending on how your employment is classified you will be covered under the Longshore & Harbor Workers a Compensation Act or the Jones Act.

    You need a maritime personal injury attorney. It is VERY different than land based law.

    Find one here on,, or

    See question