Patrick O. McAleer - Of Counsel

60 Washington Street
Salem, MA 01970

Phone: 978-744-8918
Fax: 978-666-0383


Patrick McAleer’s practice encompasses civil litigation in state and federal courts with a focus on maritime, cargo and transportation law. He represents commercial and recreational vessel owners and operators, marine lenders, marinas, shipyards, professional mariners, marine trades providers, surveyors, marine trades associations, insurance brokers and boat haulers with matters involving arbitration and mediation, marine insurance defense, litigation, administrative proceedings, maritime liens, vessel arrest and commercial transactions. Patrick also provides counsel to various marine insurance clients with respect to insurance coverage and marine salvage.Patrick began his legal career with a Boston based boutique maritime defense firm. Thereafter, he practiced for ten years with a mid-sized Boston law firm where he most recently was a partner, a member of the Transportation and Maritime Practice Group and chaired the Litigation Practice Group.   


Attorney McAleer is admitted to practice before the courts for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He has also appeared before the courts of Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island on a pro hac vice basis. 


While attending law school Patrick served as the first civilian law clerk for the United States First Coast Guard District Legal Office. Prior to practicing law, he was employed in the marine industry as a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain delivering, racing, refitting and crewing onboard sailing and motor vessels throughout the East Coast and Southern Atlantic.

Patrick serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Sail Salem, Inc., a non-profit community boating center located on Winter Island in Salem, Massachusetts, a committee  member for the MMTA Kids in Boating Initiative and as a volunteer coach for Beverly Youth Lacrosse.  He is a sitting member of the City of Beverly Harbor Management Authority.


Practice Areas

  • Admiralty and Maritime Law
  • Cargo and Transportation Law
  • Insurance Defense
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Trial Practice
  • Corporate and Marine Transactions


  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island (pro hac vice)


  • Suffolk University Law School, J.D., 1998
  • Boston College, B.A., Political Science, 1995


Professional Affiliations & Bar Associations

  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Proctor in Admiralty
  • Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Associate Member
  • Propeller Club, Port of Boston
  • Massachusetts Marine Trades Association
  • Connecticut Maritime Association
  • Boston Harbor Port Operator’s Group
  • Mariners Club of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Bar Association

Qualifications and Honors

  • U.S. Coast Guard Licensed Master, Sailing and Commercial Towing Endorsements (Third Issue)
  • BoatU.S. Salvage Plan Arbitrator
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers™, Transportation and Maritime Law (Rising Star 2009 - 2012, Super Lawyer 2014 - 2016)

Notable Cases

  • Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Andrade, D. Mass. Civil Action No. 09-10500-MLW (2013) and Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Goodman, D. Mass. Civil Action No. 10-10506-MLW (2013) (Judgment entered on behalf of marine insurer client after a weeklong bench trial in consolidated cases involving gel coat “crazing” on two yachts)
  • Murphy v. Standard Fire Insurance Co., Quincy, MA District Court Civil Action No. 201256CV1215 (2013) (Awarded summary judgment denying insurance coverage to a recreational boat owner whose tardy claim for purported damage to the vessel’s engine was time-barred pursuant to the terms of the applicable marine insurance policy)
  • Mejia v. Fair Wind, Inc., D. Mass. Civil Action No. 09-10744-RBC (2011) (Defense verdict on behalf of vessel owner in Jones Act claim brought by plaintiff for purported knee injury sustained on deck of client’s offshore lobster vessel)
  • Talbots, Inc. v. Dynasty Int'l, Inc., 808 F. Supp. 2d 351; 2011 A.M.C. 2750 (D. Mass. 2011) (Awarded summary judgment dismissing plaintiff’s claims for cargo damage against freight forwarder client.  The Court found that plaintiff’s claims were time barred pursuant to the unambiguous terms of the applicable shipping documentation)
  • BaywatchRI Marine Towing v. M/V DeVOCEAN, et al., 09-0116, Boat Owners Assoc. of the U.S. Salvage Arbitration Plan (2009) (A three person Arbitration Panel denied a salvage award due to the vessel owner’s notation for “reasonable towing fee only” below his signature on the salvor’s Standard Form Salvage Contract.  The Panel ultimately gave a quantum meruit award of $1,000.00.  Salvor’s demand at arbitration was in excess of $225,000.00)


Speeches and Presentations

  • Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Annual Meeting, Speaker and Author of presentation materials, "Marine Surveying: Duty to Warn and Protecting Your Files," Newport, Rhode Island (2016)
  • Suffolk University Law School, Admiralty Law, Guest Lecturer, "Overview of Yacht and Commercial Marine Salvage," Boston, Massachusetts (2016)
  • Knox Marine's Annual Yacht Claims Conference, Speaker and Author of presentation materials, "Preparing to be a Witness," Fort Lauderdale, Florida, (2016)
  • Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Annual Meeting, Speaker and Author of presentation materials on "Marine Surveyor Liability and Contracts - A Practical Approach," New Orleans, Louisiana (2014)
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Annual Spring Meeting CLE Program, Coordinator and Panel Moderator, New York, New York (2014) 
  • Travelers Claim University, Speaker and Author of presentation materials on “Admiralty Law and Marine Insurance,” East Windsor, Connecticut (2010)
  • Knox Marine’s Annual Yacht Claims Conference, Speaker and Author of presentation materials on “Practical Considerations in Yacht Salvage,” Chesapeake, Virginia (2011)
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., “Maritime Law: Navigating the Seas,” Speaker and Author of presentation materials on “Maritime Transactions,” Boston, Massachusetts (2009)

Press Mentions

  • Jury clears Gloucester boat in on-board injury suit, Gloucester Times, February 24, 2011
  • Boston lawyer produces for ad agency, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, January 20, 2009 
  • New concern and hopes for fishing industry, Gloucester Times, December 20, 2008