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Crowder, Robert

Robert S. Crowder

Robert Crowder represents clients in a broad range of commercial and business litigation, with a focus on maritime, admiralty, transportation, environmental, energy, and insurance matters.

With wide-ranging experience in all aspects of litigation and alternative dispute resolution, Robert strives to resolve matters creatively at inception when possible and to continuously explore opportunities to resolve issues expeditiously. In addition to his extensive litigation experience through and including trial and appeals, Robert’s significant practical experience in the marine and energy fields bolsters his ability to successfully navigate matters arising in these industries.

Before embarking on his legal career, Robert sailed as a United States Coast Guard licensed deck officer for six years on oceangoing tankers and subsequently worked “shore-side” in the maritime industry. He then held a variety of positions at Exxon’s refinery in Benicia, California – including roles in coordination and economics, engineering support, and operations – where he participated in training courses in various aspects of refinery operations, economics, and management.

As a litigator, counselor, and advisor, Robert has handled numerous contract, toxic tort, and product liability matters; California Proposition 65 litigation; and marine pollution, maritime personal injury, collision, and cargo damage claims. With a unique combination of extensive real world and legal experience, he is regularly called upon to provide advice and counsel in these areas for clients throughout the United States and abroad.

An Alaska native, Robert enjoys the outdoors as well as travel, a wide range of music, and taking in Los Angeles Clippers games.

Tulane University (J.D., cum laude, 1998); Tulane Maritime Law Journal, Senior Articles Editor; Moot Court Board
Maine Maritime Academy (M.S., 1987)
State University of New York Maritime College (B.S. in Marine Transportation - Economics, 1981)
State Admissions
California, 1998
Federal Admissions
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
United States District Court, Central District of California
United States District Court, Eastern District of California
United States District Court, Northern District of California
United States District Court, Southern District of California
Service Areas
Business Litigation
Mass Tort & Product Liability
Industries Represented
  • Lead trial counsel in successful defense of multimillion-dollar Long Beach Harbor oil spill pollution case
  • Secured complete defense verdict following jury trial for pharmaceutical company defending pediatric brain injury claims
  • Successfully defended construction defect litigation involving complex process systems
  • Successful defense of multiple aircraft casualty cases
  • Procured several dozen subrogation recoveries following loss and damage to cargo
  • Successful prosecution of contractual fraud case in Los Angeles County Superior Court
  • Negotiated resolution of numerous California Proposition 65 matters


  • “Overview of Maritime Law Sources, Jurisdictional Choices, and Litigation in the US Courts,” Chapter in Understanding Maritime Law: Leading Lawyers on Navigating the Rules of Oceanic Trade and Recreation (Inside the Minds), Thomson Reuters/Aspatore (September 2015)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Welcome to the Cargo Jungle! It Takes a Little Patience,” International Cargo Insurance Conference, Weybridge, Surrey, United Kingdom (June 2023)
  • “California Fair Claims Practices Regulations,” Webinar, London Market Claims Adjusters (July 2017)
  • “Use of Fingerprinting Techniques to Identify ‘Mystery’ Oil Spills and Determine Contamination Claim Validity,” AEHS International Conference on Soil, Water, Energy & Air, San Diego, California (March 2017)
  • “California Fair Claims Practices Regulations,” London, England (June 2016)
  • “Trying the Maritime Case in the United States” and “Use of Forensic Fingerprinting Techniques to Identify Sources of ‘Mystery’ Oil Spills,” BIT World Congress of Ocean, Dalian, China (October 2014)
  • The Maritime Law Association of the United States, Proctor Member
  • Environmental Forensics, Editorial Board
  • American Chemical Society
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance