James M. BeardMaritime Injury Lawyer
Maritime Injury Lawyer James Beard has a unique understanding and compassion for the clients he represents. For 30 years his legal career has been devoted to representing crewmen and commercial fishermen who have been injured while working at sea. He is widely recognized as one of the most experienced maritime injury lawyers in the Pacific Northwest in handling maritime wrongful death and personal injury cases. He has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for his clients located throughout the United States.
Beard is proud of his roots growing up in Ilwaco, Washington, a small fishing village located at the mouth of the Columbia River. He worked his way through college and law school on fishing vessels, oyster dredges, and doing longshore work breaking freight. He has never forgotten his experience of falling overboard off a barge in the middle of the night while trying to set an anchor. Beard’s practical experience doing maritime work lets him easily connect with his clients. He understands the individual importance of each client’s case and knows the lasting impact that serious injuries can have on injured crewmen and their families.
After graduating from the University of Washington, Beard attended law school at the University of Puget Sound, graduating in 1983. Working in a big law firm never interested Beard. By 1986 he had established his own practice in Ballard, Washington, and quickly began representing injured Alaska fishermen. Successful results in wrongful death cases for the crewmen on the Alaska crab boat Vestfjord and the factory trawler Aleutian Enterprise made Jones Act and maritime injury claims the full time practice focus of his law practice. Over the past 30 years, Beard has been involved in handling many other high profile fishing vessel sinking cases including the sinkings of the Alaska Ranger, Arctic Rose, Galaxy, Amber Dawn, Nesika, Katmai, Pacesetter, Lady Cecelia, and Pacific Apollo.
Beard has not just handled a few Jones Act injury cases, he has handled hundreds. He understands Federal maritime law. Applying Federal maritime law and fighting for injured crewmen’s rights to compensation has been Beard’s career. Beard was the founding partner of the maritime law firm of Beard Stacey & Jacobsen. Together with his partners, Beard helped change the amounts to be paid in maritime injury and death claims. Beard’s new law offices are located on Lake Washington just minutes from downtown Seattle. He continues to accept maritime wrongful death claims and select maritime injury claims involving serious and permanent injuries.
Beard begins each maritime injury case by making sure that his clients are getting the proper medical treatment and care they need. Ensuring that his clients obtain the maximum medical recovery possible is his goal. Unfortunately, in many cases full physical recovery is not possible. In those cases involving permanent injuries caused by negligence or unseaworthiness, Beard seeks damages for past and future lost wages, lost earning capacity, medical expenses, and compensation for pain and suffering that has been suffered in the past and will be suffered in the future.
Beard takes great pride in having successfully recovered compensation for catastrophically injured clients in difficult maritime cases that other lawyers thought couldn’t be won. He is not afraid of taking on a tough fight. He understands how to effectively explain how injuries at sea can be prevented. He utilizes respected medical experts and cutting edge medical technology to help explain his client’s injuries and get them the fair compensation they deserve.
Beard’s 30 years of maritime experience allows him to fairly evaluate his client’s claims. He feels it is important to advise his clients from the very start of their cases about the strengths and weaknesses of their claims.
Beard is admitted to practice law in the States of Alaska, Washington and Oregon. He is admitted to practice in The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Districts Courts of Washington.
J.D., University of Puget Sound, 1993
B.A., University of Washington
Alaska State Bar
Member Since: 2004
Oregon State Bar
Member Since: 2009
Washington State Bar
Member Since: 1983