Joseph P. Tabrisky


Joe focuses his practice on transportation, maritime law, all forms of insurance coverage, including ocean and inland marine, Director and Officer liability matters, errors and omissions, employment liability, reinsurance, and commercial general liability. He has also experience in intellectual property law, including negotiation and litigation of non-disclosure agreements, copyright and trademark infringement and licensing, and patent infringement litigation, as well as general liability litigation.

Before joining Litchfield Cavo, Joe worked for boutique maritime and transportation firms in California and Florida, as well as an insurance defense firm. Joe served as faculty at the 18th Tulane Admiralty Law Institute, "A Sea Chest for Sea Lawyers" and has served on continuing legal education panels for the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

Joe has been an active volunteer for Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra, previously serving as a member of the Board of Directors as well as an adaptive ski instructor. He has also volunteered with the American Youth Soccer Organization in a variety of capacities, including serving as a National Referee and National Referee Assessor since 1997.  Joe currently serves as Event Committee Chair and Team Development Chair for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. He enjoys skiing and snowboarding with his family.


  • Santa Clara Law School, JD, 1985
  • University of California at Berkeley, BA, 1982
  • UCLA


  • California
  • United States District Courts: Central District of California, Eastern District of California, Southern District of California, Northern District of California, District of Arizona
  • United States Court of Appeals: Ninth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Professional Activities

  • Associate Editor, American Maritime Cases
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States


  • "Recent Developments in Maritime Law: Changes in The Law Moving As Rapidly as the Modern Day Personal Watercraft Propel Them," 75 Tulane Law Review 1757 (2001)
  • "Recent Developments in the Carriage of Cargo," 22 Tulane Maritime L.J. 535 (1998)
  • "COGSA and the Fire Statute," 28 Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce 359 (1997)
  • "Recent Developments in Cargo Litigation," 18 Tulane Maritime L.J. 259 (1994)
  • Note, "Copyright Law: Substantial Compliance; Videotronics, Inc. v. Bend Electronics, 586 F. Supp. 478 (D.C.Nev. 1984)," 1 Santa Clara Comp. & High Tech. L.J. 175 (1985).

Representative Reported Cases

  • Smith  v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance. Co., 2011 WL 1426805 (9th Cir. 2011)
  • Hoffman v. Impact Confections, Inc., 544 F.Supp.2d 1121 (S.D.Cal. 2008), affirmed, Hoffman v. Impact Confections, Inc., 2010 WL 750049, (9th Cir. 2010).
  • Vigilant Insurance Co. v. Chiu, 175 Cal.App.4th 438 (2009)
  • Heli-Lift Ltd. v. M/V OOCL Faith, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25239, 2003 AMC 30 (C. D. Cal. 2001)
  • Bondareva v. Aeroflot Russian Int'l Airlines, 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 14939 (9th Cir. 1999)
  • All Pacific Trading, Inc. v. Vessel M/V Hanjin Yosu, 7 F.3d 1427, 1994 A.M.C. 365 (9TH Cir. 1993)
  • In re Korea Shipping Corp., Ltd., 919 F.2d 601, 1991 A.M.C. 499 (9th Cir. 1990)
  • Tokio Marine & Fire Ins. Co., Ltd. v. Vessel Sammi Aurora, 903 F.2d 1244, 1990 A.M.C. 2235 (9th Cir. 1990)