Jim Hohenstein is a founding partner of Hohenstein & Parkinson, LLP. Jim’s experience as a maritime attorney is extensive and varied. The scope of his practice is nationwide and international.
In contentious litigation and alternative dispute resolution, Jim has represented clients in actions involving casualty, charter party, cargo defense, maritime lien, bankruptcy and marine insurance matters. Clients include domestic and international shipowners, charterers, marine underwriters and financial institutions. On numerous occasions, Jim acted as local or consulting counsel on behalf of U.S. and international law firms. He also has been heavily involved in assisting clients with the preparation and negotiation of maritime contracts, such as charter parties, contracts of affreightment, bills of lading and other transactional documents.
Jim’s interest in maritime law was sparked by his service in the U.S. Navy. He was originally commissioned as a naval officer in 1977. He served on board USS TRIPPE (FF 1075) as an engineering officer and the ship’s navigator. While on board, he qualified as a surface warfare officer and engineering officer of the watch. He was then selected to attend law school while on active duty. Upon graduation from law school in 1983, he became a member of the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He continued his active service until 1990.
While on active duty, Jim served as trial (prosecutor) and defense counsel at the Naval Legal Service Office, San Francisco. During this tour, he appeared in over 150 courts-martial. His next duty assignment was as the Legal Officer on board the battleship, USS NEW JERSEY (BB 62), which was equivalent to serving as the city attorney for a town with 1,700 inhabitants. His final active duty assignment was in Washington, D.C. at the Admiralty Division in the Office of the Judge Advocate General. This assignment involved representing the Navy concerning claims arising under the Public Vessels Act and the Suits in Admiralty Act. He essentially served as the Navy’s in-house counsel for maritime matters.
In 1990, Jim began his civilian law career at the New York maritime law firm of Haight, Gardner, Poor & Havens and was promoted to partner in 1997. Later that same year, Haight Gardner merged with Holland & Knight, LLP. While a partner at Holland & Knight, Jim was the National Maritime Practice Group Leader. During his tenure, the firm’s maritime practice was recognized by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® as the nation’s Law Firm of the Year (Admiralty and Maritime Law) for 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020. Jim retired from Holland & Knight on June 30, 2021.
While at Haight Gardner and Holland & Knight, Jim continued his military career by serving as a naval reserve officer. Key to this work was his assignment from 2000 to 2007 to the Navy’s reserve admiralty law unit, Naval Reserve Civil Law Support Activity 111, which included service as that unit’s Commanding Officer. Having completed thirty years of naval service, active and reserve, Jim retired from the Navy in 2007 with the rank of Captain.
Jim has an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in Chambers and Who’s Who Legal. Jim was designated “Best of the Best” (Shipping and Maritime) in Euromoney’s Expert Guides© 2021 Best of the Best USA and Best of the Best (Global). As to the latter publication, Jim is one of only five U.S. maritime attorneys so listed.