With more than 45 years of experience, Rodger has represented maritime businesses navigating through the booms and busts of the Gulf of Mexico oil-and-gas-based economy. His clientele has oilfield and maritime interests throughout Latin America.

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Rodger Wheaton

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From our New Orleans office, Rodger focuses on maritime and oil field transactions and litigation. This includes insurance coverage, marine finance and vessel documentation, litigation, corporate and commercial law, and international transaction primarily in Latin America. Rodger was born in Durham, North Carolina. His educational background includes: Phillips Academy (Andover), 1968; an undergraduate degree from Stanford University, 1972; a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia University, 1977; and a Juris Doctor in Law from Vanderbilt University, 1977.

While at Vanderbilt, Rodger was on the Moot Court Board and the Board of Editors of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. He has a working knowledge of Spanish, having spent a year in high school in Barcelona, Spain, and a year at Stanford in Mexico City. A significant portion of his practice relates to Latin America and, in particular, maritime and oil field transactional work.

Rodger is a member of the New Orleans, Louisiana State, New York State, American, and International Bar Associations; Maritime Law Association of the United States; and the Defense Research Institute. He is admitted to practice law in Louisiana and New York as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rodger is also the liaison between the firm and Lawyers Associated Worldwide, a network of law firms around the world. He’s been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and listed in Super Lawyers year after year.

Transactions Experience

  • Drafting commercial agreements, including vessel charters, distributor agreements, and shipyard construction contracts
  • Asset sale of towing company: approximately $35 million
  • Corporate reorganization engine distributor: annual sales $35 million
  • Buy out of membership interest inclusive of towing company: $11 million
  • Purchase of foreign flag DP2 vessel for refitting and flag in Mexico: $26 million
  • Buy out of one-half interest in Panamanian vessel reflagged in Mexico
  • Multiple purchases of U.S. flagged-vessels for export and reflagging in Mexico
  • Draft and review of Master Service Agreements for allocation of risks and indemnities

Litigation Experience

  • Commercial litigation
  • Defense of trustee in litigation by beneficiaries over control, administration of closely held entity
  • Defense of reality show producers for claims of assault and battery by contestant
  • Defense of cargo interest for claims of death and personal injury arising out of mid-Atlantic explosion of vessel
  • Prosecution of claims against U.S. Government for improper marking of wrecks.
  • Defense of claims by U.S. Trustee in bankruptcy
  • Defense of owner in sinking of vessels, loss of life and denial of insurance coverage
  • Defense and prosecution of claims for maritime insurance coverage
  • Defense and prosecution of insurance agent for errors and omissions
  • Investigation of insurance claims, marine and general liability
  • Defense of wrongful death claim alleged to have been caused by mold exposure
  • Defense and prosecution of property-damage claims
  • Defense of maritime personal injury claims
  • Defense and prosecution of engine claims
  • Defense of yacht manufacturer in fire related insurance coverage claims: $20 million
  • Defense and prosecution of vessel seizures
  • Prosecution of oil well and public works liens
  • Defense of small boat operator striking swimmer

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