Client-Recommended Attorneys, Adjusters, Experts and TPAs
Client-Recommended Attorneys, Adjusters, Experts and TPAs



Best's Recommended Insurance Attorneys

General Defense


14 Wall Street, Suite 5H, New York, New York 10005
  • Telephone: 212-839-7000
  • Fax: 212-466-0514
  • Mobile: 917-885-8413
  • Website: www.hillbetts.com

Established: 1898

Practice Areas

  • Admiralty and Maritime Law
  • Appeals
  • Arbitration
  • Aviation
  • Bad Faith
  • Bankruptcy
  • Breach of Contract
  • Business Formation
  • Business Interruption
  • Business Litigation
  • Business Transactions
  • Cargo
  • Carrier Defense
  • Casualty Defense
  • Casualty Insurance Law
  • Class Actions
  • Commercial General Liability
  • Commercial Insurance
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Commercial Transportation Litigation
  • Complex Tort Litigation
  • Corporate Law
  • Coverage Disputes
  • Coverage Litigation
  • Coverage Opinions
  • Death on the High Seas Act
  • Defense Litigation
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Litigation
  • General Defense
  • Governmental Defense
  • Inland and Ocean Marine
  • Insurance Coverage Litigation
  • Insurance Defense
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Jones Act
  • Marine
  • Marine Insurance
  • Marine Liability
  • Maritime
  • Maritime Law
  • Personal Injury Defense
  • Punitive Damages
  • Regulatory and Compliance
  • Risk Management
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Tort Claims Defense
  • Transactional Law
  • Transactions
  • Trial and Appellate Practice
  • Trial Practice
  • Trust and Estate Litigation
  • Trusts


About Us

Hill, Betts & Nash LLP was founded in New York, New York in 1898. Today, our lawyers continue to expand the firm's internationally recognized reputation for providing expert legal counsel on matters relating to maritime, world trade and transportation, commercial, tort and Jones Act litigation, insurance, equipment leasing and financing, bankruptcy, admiralty and aviation law. Our clients include many of the largest and most innovative companies in the transportation, finance, and service industries. P&I Clubs, Banks, oil companies, insurers, high-tech companies, Fortune 500 manufacturers, real estate partnerships, foreign and domestic law firms, as well as governments seek our counsel. Many of our clients are based abroad or are active in foreign markets.

Each lawyer at our firm has substantial expertise, and a winning track record, in all areas of business, corporate, commercial, and insurance litigation in state and federal courts. Our Lawyers have years of experience in industry and government, and hold graduate degrees in engineering, naval architecture and other technical fields.


Client Information

Insurance Clients

Non-Insurance Clients

  • Liberty Maritime Corporation
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.
  • Sealift, Inc.

Personnel Information

Principals


Gregory W. O'Neill

New York, NY

Years of Experience: 46

Practice Areas
  • Admiralty and Maritime Law
  • Defense Litigation
  • Jones Act
  • Litigation Defense
  • Maritime Law
  • Personal Injury Defense
  • Tort Claims Defense
  • Trial Practice
Admitted
  • New York, 1973
  • Florida, 2004
Memberships:
  • New York State Bar Association
  • The Maritime Law Association of the United States
Publications:
  • Co-Author: Seaman Status, Defense Research Institute (Admiralty and Maritime Law Selected Topics)
Reported Cases:
Desiderio v. Celebrity Cruise Lines, Inc., 1999 A.M.C. 2723 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) (class action against cruise line); Colon v. Apex Marine Corp., 35 F.3d 16 (1st Cir. 1994)(injury to seaman); County of Suffolk v. Long Island Lighting Co., 907 F.2d 1295 (2nd Cir. 1990) (RICO claim against nuclear power company); Black v. Red Star Towing & Transportation Co., 860 F.2d 30 (2nd Cir. 1988) (Jones Act and unseaworthiness claim by marine engineer); Silivanch, V. Celebrity Cruises, Inc., 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12155
Education:
  • Fordham University, B.A., 1967
  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1972
Language:
  • Spanish

Mark M. Jaffe

New York, NY

Admitted
  • New Jersey, 1965
  • Louisiana, 1968
  • New York, 1970
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Military Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Memberships:
  • American, New York State, New Jersey State and Louisiana State Bar Associations
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • The Maritime Law Association of the United States
Education:
  • The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, B.S.Ec., 1962
  • Columbia Law School, J.D., 1965

Partners


James D. Kleiner

New York, NY

Admitted
  • England, 1974
  • Wales
  • New York, 1979
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of New York
Memberships:
  • American Bar Association
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Committee on Admiralty, 1984-1987)
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States (Committee on Intergovernmental Organizations)
  • Association of Average Adjusters
  • American Arbitration Association (Commercial Panel of Arbitrators)
Education:
  • University of Paris - Sorbonne, Certificat de Langue Francaise, 1970
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science, LL.B. (with honors), 1973
  • University of London, England, LL.M., 1975
Language:
  • Spanish
  • French

Mary T. Reilly

New York, NY

Admitted
  • New York, 1978
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1985
Memberships:
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Women's International Shipping and Trading Association
Education:
  • University of Denver
  • Queens College of the City University of New York, B.A. (cum laude), 1973
  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 1977

Elizabeth McCoy

New York, NY

Admitted
  • Michigan, 1986
  • New York, 1988
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, 1993
Memberships:
  • New York County Lawyers Association
Education:
  • The University of Chicago, B.A. (with honors), 1982
  • Seton Hall University, M.B.A. (with honors), 2002
  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1986

Christopher B. Kende

New York, NY

Admitted
  • New York, 1974
  • Massachusetts, 1975
  • District of Columbia, 1988
  • California, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second, Seventh and Ninth Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Memberships:
  • Insurance Law Commission of the UIA (President)
  • French American Chamber of Commerce Serge Bellanger Foundation (Board of Directors)
  • Paris Maritime Arbitral Chamber
  • The Bar Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Aeronautics Committee)
Education:
  • Brown University, B.A./M.A., 1970
  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1973
Language:
  • French

Patrick J. O'Connor

New York, NY

Admitted
  • New Jersey, 2015
  • New York, 2016
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
Education:
  • State University of New York Maritime College, B.S., 2009
  • Roger Williams University School of Law, J.D., 2015

Of Counsel


Mark A. Lowe

New York, NY

Admitted
  • New York, 1966
  • Connecticut, 1967
Memberships:
  • American and Connecticut Bar Associations
  • The Maritime Law Association of the United States
Education:
  • Boston University, A.B., 1963
  • New York Law School, J.D., 1966

Michael J. Ryan

New York, NY

Admitted
  • Illinois, 1959
  • Michigan
  • New York, 1963
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1962
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, 1963
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1965
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1983
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1992
Memberships:
  • American Bar Association
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Comite Maritime Internationale
Education:
  • Saint Peter's College, A.B., 1953
  • University of Michigan Law School, LL.B., 1958
Honors:
Phi Alpha Delta
Military:
Col., U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (ret)

Counsel


Ella W. Dodson

New York, NY

Admitted
  • New York, 1986
  • New Jersey, 2001
Education:
  • Washington University in St. Louis, B.A., 1977
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D. (with high honors), 1984
  • Columbia University of Law, LL.M., 1986

Associate


Adam M. Wernicke

New York, NY

Admitted
  • New Jersey, 2019
  • New York, 2021
Education:
  • Centenary College, B.A., 2016
  • Roger Williams University School of Law, J.D., 2019

Articles & Publications


High Profile Cases

Desiderio v. Celebrity Cruise Lines, Inc., 1999 A.M.C. 2723 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) (class action against cruise line); Colon v. Apex Marine Corp., 35 F.3d 16 (1st Cir. 1994) (injury to seaman); County of Suffolk v. Long Island Lighting Co., 907 F.2d 1295 (2nd Cir. 1990) (RICO claim against nuclear power company); Black v. Red Star Towing & Transportation Co., 860 F.2d 30 (2nd Cir. 1988) (Jones Act and unseaworthiness claim by marine engineer); Silivanch, V. Celebrity Cruises, Inc., 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12155

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