Arthur Severance, Esq.

Arthur Severance is a Senior Attorney at W&D Law. For more than 16 years, he has represented business clients in a wide variety of transactional and litigation matters.

As a litigator, Arthur has a tremendous amount of experience defending cases in federal court, especially personal injury and wrongful death cases. In addition, he has handled numerous administrative proceedings and state court cases, as well as appeals before the California Court of Appeals, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the California Supreme Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Arthur has extensive experience investigating claims, conducting law and motion practice and federal and state written discovery, inspections, and depositions, representing clients at mediation, and negotiating settlements. He also has significant transactional experience negotiating and drafting contracts, advising and training stakeholders on legal issues, and in non-profit governance, Alaska Native law, fisheries regulation, and employment law.

Arthur is licensed to practice law in Alaska, Arizona, California, and Colorado, and he is certified as a specialist in Admiralty and Maritime Law by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Arthur served in the United States Navy repairing marine radios and other electronics and worked for several years as an English foreign language instructor in Germany and Austria.

University of Colorado, Boulder
Bachelor of Arts-German, History, and Central and East European Studies, 1991
National Residence Hall Honorary
Golden Key National Honor Society
Phi Alpha Theta, History Honor Society
Boulder County Crimestoppers, Certificate of Recognition
Optimist Club of Boulder, Colorado, Youth Appreciation Week Citation

California Western School of Law, San Diego, California Juris Doctor, 2006, cum laude (class rank 20/258)
Executive Editor, California Western International Law Journal
Deans Honor List Spring 2004, Fall 2004, Spring 2005, Summer 2005
Recipient, Justice Kennedy, International Legal Studies, Justice Wiener, and Trustees’ Scholarships
Recipient, Academic Excellence Awards for Legal Skills I, Internship Seminar, and Law of the Sea

Tulane University Law School, New Orleans Master of Laws, Admiralty Law, 2007, with distinction
Recipient, CALI Excellence for the Future Award for Carriage of Goods by Sea

Southern California Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in Maritime/Transportation Law, 2013-2016
Prior to attending law school, Arthur served in the United States Navy from 1997-2003 as an enlisted electronics technician. He was assigned to the USS Taylor (FFG 50). He received multiple awards, including three Navy Achievement Medals for leadership, maintaining electronic equipment, and collecting evidence of Russian embargo violations.
State Bar of California
State Bar of Alaska
State Bar of Colorado
State Bar of Arizona
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
U.S. District Court, Alaska
U.S. District Court, Arizona
U.S. District Court, Colorado
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
Federal Bar Association
Proctor Member, Maritime Law Association of the United States
Chair, State Bar of California, Admiralty and Maritime Law Advisory Commission, 2016-2017, Member 2010-2017
Certified as a Specialist in Admiralty and Maritime Law by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California

The Federal Limitation of Liability Act: LOLA Is Still Afloat After 165 Years, How Long Does She Have Left? Federal Bar Association, February 2016
Rough Waters: Litigating Recreational Boating Cases in State and Federal Court, California State Bar Annual Meeting, September 2014
Help Me, COGSA! An Overview of How COGSA Protects Carriers, Terminal Operators, and Stevedores, Transportation Law Institute, November 2013
The Shipowner’s Limitation of Liability Act, California Western School of Law, March 2013
Recreational Boating & Admiralty Jurisdiction, Marine Underwriters of Southern California, February 2013
Primary Assumption of Recreational Boating Risks, Pacific Admiralty Seminar, October 2012

Ninth Circuit Case Summaries, Admiralitas (Fed. B. Ass’n) (2017-2022 eds.)
CLE Committee Welcomes New Director, Alaska Bar Rag (Alaska B. Ass’n) (Fall 2019)
Navigating Personal Injury and Death Cases, 2018 Annual meeting (Fed. B. Ass’n) (2018)
Navigating Personal Injury and Death Cases, Admiralitas (Fed. B. Ass’n) (Winter 2016)
Most Courts are Getting it Wrong: There is No Well-Established Federal Maritime Rule Against the Doctrine of Assumption of Risk in Recreational Boating Cases, 25 U.S.F. Mar. L.J. 195 (2013)
MLA Report, Assistant Editor, Maritime Law Association, 2011-2014 editions
Statistical Analysis of Limitation of Liability Cases 1997-2010, Researcher, Maritime Law Association
The Duty to Render Assistance in the Satellite Age, Comment, 36 CAL. W. INT’L L.J. 377 (2006)

In re DuQuette, no. 2:20-cv-02037, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11028, 2022 WL 181248 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 20, 2022)
People v. Pac Anchor, 59 Cal. 4th 772 (2014), cert. denied, 135 S. Ct. 1400 (2015)
Sosa v. Pfeiffer, no. 10cv0280, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132295, 2013 WL 5204104 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 16, 2013)
Hartford Fire Inc. Co. v. Total Terminals Int’l, LLC, no. CV 12-5100, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195349 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 25, 2012)
Rigel Marine Servs. v. M/Y “Thomas Crosby V,” 2012 A.M.C. 2916 (C.D. Cal. 2011
People v. Pac Anchor, 195 Cal. App. 4th 765 (2011)
In re Mission Bay Jet Sports, 570 F.3d 1124 (9th Cir. 2009); id., 2010 A.M.C. 1320 (S.D. Cal. 2010)
In re Gibson, 2009 A.M.C. 2249 (E.D. Okla. 2009)
Markel Am. Ins. Co. v. Woolard, 2007 A.M.C. 2597 (C.D. Cal. 2007)
Lee v. Vessel Tiffany, no. CIV S-06-1757, 2007 WL 2904077 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 2, 2007)