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About me

Jim Whitehead lectures and writes frequently on a variety of legal issues.  He was for many years a member of the faculty of the Port of Seattle’s annual international trade seminar and was a member of the organizing committee of the Pacific Northwest Admiralty Law Institute, which for many years sponsored seminars on issues of interest to the maritime industry.  He has spoken at seminars sponsored by that Institute, the University of Washington School of Law, The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, and various insurance industry groups.  He chaired the International Maritime Law Conference held in Seattle in June 1996.  He is also the Associate Editor for Seattle of American Maritime Cases, which has published court decisions of interest to the maritime bar for more than ninety years.  He has been active for many years in the Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA), serving a three-year term on its Board of Directors starting in May 2000, and serving on multiple ad hoc committees by special appointment of its President.  He is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Maritime Arbitration Association of the United States, a national association created in 2007 to provide cost-effective arbitration and mediation services in the maritime industry by specially qualified, experienced maritime lawyers.  He is one of two Seattle attorneys initially approved as arbitrators/mediators by the association and has served as an arbitrator in several disputes subject to the association’s rules.  He is also a contract arbitrator for NOAA’s Crab Rationalization Program for the Bering Sea Aleutian Island crab fisheries.

He enjoys an AV rating (the highest rating obtainable for legal ability and ethical standards) from the Martindale-Hubbell law directory.  He also enjoys a “Superb” rating from the Avvo legal rating service and was honored as one of the ten best admiralty lawyers in Seattle in a 2008 ranking by CEO Magazine, and a top admiralty and maritime lawyer in 2010 in Seattle Met magazine.



Contact info

Law Office of James F. Whitehead PLLC

2211 Elliott Ave.
Suite 200
Seattle, WA, 98121-2140

Practice areas


  1. Personal Injury: 40%
    41 years
  2. Maritime: 30%
    41 years
  3. Transportation: 20%
    17 years
  4. Wrongful Death: 10%
    41 years


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • No photo

    I endorse this lawyer. Very knowledgeable and capable trial lawyer. Exercises very good judgment at all times.


    Steven Gibbons Admiralty and maritime Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

  • Thomas Frank Paul

    Jim is a terrific lawyer and is a pleasure to work with. He represents his clients with vigor, innovation and great skill, and obtains first class results.


    Thomas Paul Admiralty and maritime Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
AV Preeminent RatedMartindale-Hubbell2015
Avvo Top Admiralty/Maritime LawyerWashington CEO Magazine2008
Who’s WhoN/AN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
OwnerLaw Office of James F. Whitehead2008 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
NOAA's Crab Rationalization Program for Bering Sea Aleutian Island crab fisheriesContract arbitrator2008 - Present
Maritime Arbitration Association of the U.S.Member, National Advisory Board, and approved arbitrator2007 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Maritime Law Association of the United StatesMemberN/A
Association of Transportation Law ProfessionalsMemberN/A
Alaska Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Pacific Northwest Admiralty Law InstituteMemberN/A
The Transportation Club of SeattleMemberN/A
Maritime Law Association of the United StatesBoard of Directors2000 - 2003
Publication nameTitleDate
Maritime LawyerDeviation: Should the Doctrine Apply to On-Deck Carriage?1981
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Michigan Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1975
Stanford UniversityN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1968