Cobb Cole Attorney, Robert T. Bowling, Prevails at the United States Supreme Court

On January 15, 2013 the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of petitioner, Fane Lozman, in Fane Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, FL, No. 11-626. Robert T. Bowling, a partner at Cobb Cole, appeared before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Lozman in one of a very select number of cases accepted for review by the Supreme Court in 2012. The Supreme Court’s opinion, in a 7-2 decision, reversed the judgment of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The question presented for the Supreme Court’s consideration was “whether a floating structure that is indefinitely moored receives power and other utilities from shore and is not intended to be used in maritime transportation or commerce constitutes a ‘vessel’ under 1 U.S.C. § 3, thus triggering federal maritime jurisdiction.” The case illustrates the significance of whether a floating residential structure is a “vessel,” not only as a trigger for federal maritime jurisdiction but also as a substantive matter with respect to the local and state regulation of floating residences. The majority opinion held that Lozman’s structure was not a vessel for purposes of admiralty jurisdiction. Co-counsel in this case includes Supreme Court practitioner Mr. Jeffrey L. Fisher, co-director of Stanford’s Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic; Ms. Kerri Barsh, co-chair of the national environmental practice group at the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP; and Mr. Ed Mullins and Ms. Annette Escobar of Astigarraga Davis.

Mr. Bowling has represented many clients on an array of litigation and appellate cases, including commercial, real property and land use disputes. Cobb Cole‘s litigation practice is one of the firm’s largest practice groups and provides representation in a broad spectrum of practice areas. Based on the AV-Preeminent Ratings by Martindale-Hubbell, Cobb Cole recently earned a place among the “2012 Top Ranked Law Firms,” placing it at the top of its class in the areas of legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability, and legal experience.

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