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Dennis McElwee, Partner

dmac-small-resizedsuper-lawyers-dennis-mcelwee

Dennis McElwee has spent more than two decades dedicated to the practice of Maritime Law. He makes it his personal mission to stay up-to-date on court ruling concerning seamen and their daily living expenses because he knows that these details make a world of difference in his clients’ quality of life.

Mr. McElwee began his legal career working under Arthur Schechter, found of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris. As Mr. Schechter’s protégée, he learned not only the fine points of trial law in U.S. courtrooms but also the arguments and cross examinations that win cases. “A funny thing happens when you put people under oath—the truth comes out,” he’s known to say.

In his practice, Mr. McElwee focuses on maritime law cases, including Jones Act claims, General Maritime Law claims and seaman’s wage claims. He also handles general personal injury claims and has enjoyed a high rate of success for his clients over the years.

Mr. McElwee is licensed to practice law in Texas and Minnesota, and has also handled cases in four U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Previously he has taught at the Southeast Admiralty Law Center and the University of Texas Maritime Law Conference.

Current Employment Position

  • Partner

Areas Of Practice

  • Personal Injury — Plaintiff
  • Jones Act
  • Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act
  • Maintenance and Cure
  • General Maritime Law
  • DOHSA – Death on the High Seas Act
  • Maritime Piracy
  • Public Vessel Act
  • Suits in Admiralty
  • Merchant Mariners Act
  • Admiralty Extension Act
  • OSCLA – Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
  • Military Sealift Command
  • Houston Motorcycle Accidents – Plaintiff
  • Premises Liability – Plaintiff
  • Railroad Accidents – Plaintiff
  • FELA Claims – Plaintiff
  • Products Liability Law
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Aviation Accidents — Plaintiff
  • Wrongful Death — Plaintiff
  • Shipping

Litigation Percentage

  • 95% of practice devoted to litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 1986
  • Minnesota, 1998
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Education

  • South Texas College of Law, Houston, TX, 1986 – J.D.
  • Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Camden, New Jersey, 1980 – B.A.

Awards and Honors

  • Texas Super Lawyers – 2011 – 2012

Published

  • “The Relationship Between Medicare and a Vessel Owner’s Duty to Provide Cure,” SEALI, June, 1996
  • “Occupational Ilness Cases in a Maritime Context,” University of Texas, September, 1998

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • Instructor, Southeast Admiralty Law Institute , SEALI, 1996 Instructor, 7th Annual Admiralty and Maritime Conference, University of Texas, 1998

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1986 – Present
  • Southeast Admiralty Law Institute, 1999 – Present
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Member

Birth Information

  • 1954, San Antonio, Texas, United States of America
Jones Act Lawyer

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Newsweek Leaders in Maritime
FREE confidential case Evaluation
Contact our experienced maritime attorneys to see if you have a case.

 
 
 
 
 

* Please be aware that your submission of this contact form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Jones Act Lawyer

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We have board certified personal injury trial lawyers prepared to take on your case. Details

 

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Newsweek Leaders in Maritime
Recently
Filed Cases

Dennis McElwee, Partner

dmac-small-resizedsuper-lawyers-dennis-mcelwee

Dennis McElwee has spent more than two decades dedicated to the practice of Maritime Law. He makes it his personal mission to stay up-to-date on court ruling concerning seamen and their daily living expenses because he knows that these details make a world of difference in his clients’ quality of life.

Mr. McElwee began his legal career working under Arthur Schechter, found of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris. As Mr. Schechter’s protégée, he learned not only the fine points of trial law in U.S. courtrooms but also the arguments and cross examinations that win cases. “A funny thing happens when you put people under oath—the truth comes out,” he’s known to say.

In his practice, Mr. McElwee focuses on maritime law cases, including Jones Act claims, General Maritime Law claims and seaman’s wage claims. He also handles general personal injury claims and has enjoyed a high rate of success for his clients over the years.

Mr. McElwee is licensed to practice law in Texas and Minnesota, and has also handled cases in four U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Previously he has taught at the Southeast Admiralty Law Center and the University of Texas Maritime Law Conference.

Current Employment Position

  • Partner

Areas Of Practice

  • Personal Injury — Plaintiff
  • Jones Act
  • Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act
  • Maintenance and Cure
  • General Maritime Law
  • DOHSA – Death on the High Seas Act
  • Maritime Piracy
  • Public Vessel Act
  • Suits in Admiralty
  • Merchant Mariners Act
  • Admiralty Extension Act
  • OSCLA – Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
  • Military Sealift Command
  • Houston Motorcycle Accidents – Plaintiff
  • Premises Liability – Plaintiff
  • Railroad Accidents – Plaintiff
  • FELA Claims – Plaintiff
  • Products Liability Law
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Aviation Accidents — Plaintiff
  • Wrongful Death — Plaintiff
  • Shipping

Litigation Percentage

  • 95% of practice devoted to litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 1986
  • Minnesota, 1998
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Education

  • South Texas College of Law, Houston, TX, 1986 – J.D.
  • Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Camden, New Jersey, 1980 – B.A.

Awards and Honors

  • Texas Super Lawyers – 2011 – 2012

Published

  • “The Relationship Between Medicare and a Vessel Owner’s Duty to Provide Cure,” SEALI, June, 1996
  • “Occupational Ilness Cases in a Maritime Context,” University of Texas, September, 1998

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • Instructor, Southeast Admiralty Law Institute , SEALI, 1996 Instructor, 7th Annual Admiralty and Maritime Conference, University of Texas, 1998

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1986 – Present
  • Southeast Admiralty Law Institute, 1999 – Present
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Member

Birth Information

  • 1954, San Antonio, Texas, United States of America
Recent
Successful Cases
Maritime Injury Lawyers

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Board Certified Attorneys

We are maritime injury attorneys that have recovered millions for our injured clients. We have always been a strong advocate for maritime personal injury victims and the families of those who are killed while working in service of a vessel or under the Jones Act law. Our concern is for the safety of those involved and helping their families find out the whereabouts and conditions of their loved ones.

These are some of the diverse groups of injured workers we have represented:

  • Jones Act seamen
  • Workers on oil rigs, offshore platforms and jack-up rigs
  • Crews and workers on barges, supply boats, tankers, freighters and other vessels

The list is by no means comprehensive. If you are unsure whether you qualify as a Jones Act seamen or whether you might be covered by other maritime regulations, it’s vital that you contact our maritime lawyers today to learn about your rights.

We have represented workers and their families in the following disasters:

  • Deepwater Horizon Disaster
  • M/V Jillian Morrison Explosion
  • Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. Barge B No. 125 Explosion
  • British Petroleum Texas City Refinery Explosion
  • Phillips 66 Refinery Explosion

The team of Jones Act attorneys and maritime lawyers at SMSH have over 100 years of combined trial experience. Contact our Jones Act lawyers today for a free, confidential case evaluation.

Why Hire the Worldwide Jones Act, Offshore & Maritime Injury Lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris?

The Jones Act and maritime injury lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris have spent more than five decades representing seamen, longshoremen and other maritime workers, and recovered millions of dollars for our clients. SMSH has always been a strong advocate for maritime personal injury victims and the families of those who are killed while working in service of a vessel. Our concern is for the safety of those involved and helping their families find out the whereabouts and conditions of their loved ones, as well as recovering the compensation they are entitled to for injuries, medical bills and other damages.

Here are some of the reasons why thousands of injured maritime workers have chosen Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris to represent their interests:

  • We have recovered over $620 million dollars for offshore and maritime workers, including recovery of $17.5 million in the largest Jones Act settlement ever paid by the United States government.
  • Each of our Jones Act attorneys and maritime injury lawyers has more than 25 years of experience, with total of more than 100 years of trial experience for the team.
  • Our maritime injury lawyers have represented clients in some of the nation’s worst maritime and refinery disasters, including: the Deepwater Horizon explosion; the M/V Jillian Morrison explosion; the Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. Barge B No. 125 explosion; the British Petroleum Texas City Refinery explosion; and the Phillips 66 Refinery explosion.
  • As dedicated maritime injury and Jones Act attorneys, we understand the financial difficulties that families often face when a loved one is injured and unable to work. Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris offers interest free loans to assist our clients with day-to-day living expenses while waiting for the conclusion of their case.
  • Our attorneys provide assistance to maritime, offshore and port workers across the United States.
  • We have board certified Personal Injury Trial lawyers.
 

The Maritime Attorney Difference

Maritime and offshore accidents fall under a different set of laws than other personal injury or workers’ compensation claims. There are specific maritime laws that govern claims, including the Jones Act, the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and general maritime laws. To receive the full protections these laws offer, it’s crucial to have an attorney who understands the complexities of each. If you’ve been injured while working on a vessel, offshore or in one of the nation’s many ports, contact the Jones Act attorneys at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris today for a free consultation.
Our experienced offshore injury lawyers have handled cases throughout the Gulf of Mexico coastal region of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and represented clients from all 50 states of the United States. We have years of experience representing the crew working on inland waters such as the Mississippi River, Ohio River, Kentucky River, the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and many more. We have also handled cases worldwide in countries as far away as the Ukraine and Israel. We routinely represent clients from the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. We have also made claims for clients from Columbia, Venezuela, Bangladesh, The Philippines, Romania, Croatia, England, Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands, Russia, China, Mexico, and Brazil.

Time is of the Essence

If you or a member of your family has been seriously injured or killed as the result of an offshore accident, please speak to a qualified maritime lawyer before talking to your employer or any insurance company or adjuster. If you work on a vessel, boat, barge, tanker, fishing boat, an offshore drilling rig or platform, or any other kind of ship, you may qualify for Jones Act compensation. Working in, on, or near water means you need the specially-trained legal assistance of the Board Certified maritime lawyers of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

A few small tidbits of advice for the injured offshore worker:

  1. Fill out an accident report or incident paperwork as soon as possible after your injury.
  2. If your employer gives you any paperwork to sign, have it reviewed by a competent maritime lawyer so you don’t waive your rights to more money.
  3. Do not give a recorded statement to anyone without first seeking legal counsel.
  4. Do not accept the word of a company doctor as to the extent of your injuries, seek out your own doctor for a second-opinion.
We are Worldwide Jones Act attorneys and Maritime lawyers with over 100 years combined experience in Maritime Personal Injury Cases and we have handled thousands of cases. Your initial consultation for your maritime accident case is FREE. You pay us nothing unless we win your case and get you money. Call a maritime lawyer NOW at 1-800-836-5830 or e-mail us at info@smslegal.com.

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* Please be aware that your submission of this contact form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Recent Successful Cases

$17.5 Million in Jones Act Deckhand Case

 

In March 2008, our client was employed as a deckhand in a shipyard. He suffered a head injury.

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$2.5 Million Recovered in Jones Act Case

 

While on stern of tug attempting to hook up a barge, the “L” line became tight, broke, hit our client,

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$1.6 Million Recovered for Offshore Workers

 

On April 20, 2007, while working as blasters, painting an offshore rig on a platform, our two clients injured

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