John Merriam was an unlicensed seaman in the U. S. merchant marine for 12 years before becoming a lawyer, working his way through college and law school. He served aboard 17 freighters and tankers in 12 different job classifications for the deck, engine and steward departments.
Other employment included 19 full-time jobs in eight states ranging from carpenter to cab driver, from roustabout in the oil fields to factory hand on the line. John paid law school tuition with a scholarship from the Seafarers International Union.
Passing the bar in 1982, John practiced with a small firm through 1995 --- first as associate, then as partner. Cases handled ran the gamut of general practice with an emphasis on maritime personal injury.
In 1993-94 John was the Chairman of the Maritime Section for the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association.
Starting his own firm in 1996, John now restricts his practice to representing seamen on wage and injury claims.
Licensed since 1982
I endorse this lawyer's work. John is a tireless and fearless advocate of mariners with injury and wage claims. He is the lawyer responsible for convincing the Washington Supreme Court that a manifestly inadequate maintenance rate set forth in a collective bargaining agreement is unenforceable.
Russell Williams Admiralty & Maritime Attorney
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
I have had cases with John and against John Merriam. He has the very highest ethical standards. I would hope law students would aspire to be like John Merriam. He is not afraid to make novel arguments for his clients, take them up on appeal, and challenge the system where he sees it is unfair. He has overcome long odds to make new law for the benefit of all Jones Act seaman. He is not intimidated by well funded insurance defense firms. But he is not unreasonable, and counsels his clients well when in negotiations.
Shane Carew Litigation Attorney
Relationship: Worked together on matter
|Association Name||Position Name||Duration|
|Washington State Trial Lawyers Association||Chairman||1993 - 1994|
|King County Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|Washington State Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|Washington State Trial Lawyers Association||Member||N/A|
|Trial Lawyers for Public Justice||Member||N/A|
|Lewis & Clark Law School||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1982|
|University of Washington||N/A||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1978|