As a law student, he was a student law clerk to Chief Judge Hiram R. Cancio and District Judge Hernแn G. Pesquera of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. Paul is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), and is admitted to the Bars of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, 1974; the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, 1974; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 1975; the U.S. Customs Court, 1977; the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 1978; and, the Supreme Court of the United States, 1978.
Since 1974, Paul has been involved in a wide range of maritime and transportation related counseling, all aspects of marine insurance, and civil litigation cases. Many of the cases relate to maritime casualties such as collisions, groundings, sinkings, salvage, oil spills, and cargo loss. Paul also handled a major aviation disaster case in Puerto Rico representing the plaintiffs and was voted by his colleagues to be a member of the three-person Plaintiffs Steering Committee. The case was successfully settled.
Since 1981, Paul formed his first law firm which provided extensive commercial and corporate counseling and litigation representation to the transportation industry. In addition to trial practice and litigation oversight responsibilities, he has been involved in the financing of commercial vessels and yachts, ports and marina issues, resolved dealer disputes, tourism tax exemption matters, as well as the negotiation, drafting and interpretation of equipment leases, vessel charters, service contracts, and those related to vessel sale and financing, analysis and placement of marine insurance portfolios, and the creation of offshore companies.
Paul is the author of an essay entitled "Puerto Ricos Unique Maritime Powers" published in The Maritime Advocate, May 2000. See www.maritimeadvocate.com. He has also delivered talks to transportation, insurance and marina industry executives on different legal topics of interest to these sectors of the service industry.
Paul is a member of: the Maritime Law Association of the United States (Proctor-in-Admiralty); the Association of Average Adjusters of the United States; the Association of Average Adjusters (U.K.); the Panel of Commercial Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association; the Federal Bar Association, as well as various other associations. He is the Associate Editor in Puerto Rico for American Maritime Cases, the authoritative collection of published maritime cases in the U.S. He has written essays and articles on the maritime law of Puerto Rico.
In 1988, Paul served as the sole arbitrator of a complex business interruption insurance case at La Paz, Bolivia.
Paul was President of The Propeller Club of the United States, Port of San Juan, from 1989 to 1991, and in 1994, he received the distinction of Propeller Club Member of the Year, Port of San Juan.
Paul has been a Committee Member of two separate reports to the Governor on Puerto Rico and the Sea.
He is a licensed private multi-engine pilot, a certified SCUBA diver and held a U.S. Coast Guard license to operate small passenger vessels of not more than 25 gross tons. He is fluent in Spanish and English.
Paul has been associate, supervisory, trial or appeals counsel in numerous cases, many of which have been reported, as follows:
Puerto Rico Supreme Court:
Pons v. Engebretson, 160 D.P.R. 347 (2003);
Director I.C.P. v. Fitzgerald, 130 D.P.R. 46 (1992), 1993 AMC 120;
Waco Export Co. v. Expreso Meteoro, 108 D.P.R. 309 (1979);
Archilla v. Smyth Worldwide Movers, 106 D.P.R. 538 (1977).
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit:
TAG/ICIB Services, Inc. v. Sedeco Servicio de Descuento en Compras, 570 F.3d 60 (1st Cir. 2009, 2009 AMC 1968 (Juan R. Torruella, Ct.J.)
Uffner v. La Reunion, 244 F.3d 38 (1st Cir. 2001), 2001 AMC 1471 (Juan R. Torruella, Ch.J.)
La Esperanza de Puerto Rico v. P้rez y Cํa. de P.R., 899 F.Supp. 861, affd, 124 F.3d 10 (1st Cir. 1997), 1998 AMC 21 (Norman Stahl, Ct.J.);
Olympo Transport Co. v. London Underwriters, 1997 AMC 964 (Campbell, Senior Ct.J.);
El Fenix de Puerto Rico v. M/Y JOHANNY, 36 F.3d 136 (1st Cir. 1994);
Hill Constr. Corp. v. Am. Airlines, 996 F.2d 1315 (1st Cir. 1993)(Breyer, Ch.J.);
Puerto Rico Maritime Shipping Auth. v. Crowley Towing & Transp. Co., 747 F.2d 803 (1st Cir. 1984), 1987 AMC 911 (Breyer, Ct. Judge);
Juan Dalmau Rodrํguez v. Hughes Aircraft Co., 781 F.2d 9 (1st Cir. 1986)( Bownes, Ct. Judge);
Noble v. Corporaci๓n Insular de Seguros, 738 F.2d 51 (1st Cir. 1984), 1985 AMC 1146;
A/S Ivarns Rederi v. Puerto Rico Ports Authority, 617 F.2d 903 (1st Cir. 1980), 1982 AMC 2493;
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. SS ZOE COLOCOTRONI, 601 F.2d 39 (1st Cir. 1979);
Borras v. Sea-Land Service, Inc., 586 F.2d 881 (1st Cir. 1978), 1979 AMC 2222;
Rios v. Empresas Lineas Maritimas Argentinas, 575 F.2d 986 (1st Cir. 1978), 1978 AMC 2235;
Dominican Maritime v. M/V INAGUA BEACH, 572 F.2d 892 (1st Cir. 1978), 1978 AMC 1552;
American Intl. Ins. Co. v. S/S FORTALEZA, 585 F.2d 22 (1st Cir. 1978)(affirming 446 F.Supp. 221 (D.P.R. 1978)),
Universal Shipping, Inc. v. Panamanian Flag Barge, 550 F.2d 670 (1st Cir. 1977);
Campos v. Puerto Rico Sun Oil, 536 F.2d 970 (1st Cir. 1976), 1976 AMC 2629.
U.S. District Court, District of Puerto Rico:
Ins. Co. of North America v. Puerto Rico Ports Auth. , 2008 AMC 1374;
Hoekstra v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., 360 F.Supp.2d 362 (D. P.R. 2006), 2006 AMC 2164;
Smit Americas, Inc. v. M/T MANTINIA, 259 F.Supp.2d 118 (D.P.R. 2003);
Rivera Domenech v. P้rez, 141 F.Supp.2d 235 (D.P.R. 2001), amended by, 254 F.Supp.2d 232 (D.P.R. 2003);
Zeus Projects Ltd. v. P้rez y Cํa. de Puerto Rico, 187 F.R.D. 23 (D. P.R. 1999), 1999 AMC 2025;
Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London v. Johnston, 1999 AMC 1452 (Castellanos, M.J.)
Smit Americas, Inc. v. M/T MANTINIA, 1999 AMC 1060 (Acosta, D.J.);
G๓mez v. Royal Caribbean, 1997 AMC 2159 (D.P.R. 1997);
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. M/V EMILY S, 1995 AMC 1025 (D.P.R. 1994);
David Staples v. H & A Trading Co., 1994 AMC 1729 (D.P.R. 1993);
Margaret Reifer-Mapp v. 7 Maris, Inc.้, D.J.);, 830 F.Supp. 72 (D.P.R. 1993, 1994 AMC 1215;
In Re G & G Shipping Co., 767 F.Supp. 398 (D.P.R. 1991), 1994 AMC 170 (Laffitte, D.J.)
Offshore Services v. BRIDLEWOOD, 1993 AMC 2570 (D.V.I. 1991);
Sucn. Suแrez v. Gelabert, 541 F.Supp. 1253 (D.P.R. 1982), affd, 701 F.2d 231 (1st Cir. 1983);
Home Ins. Co. v. Puerto Rico Maritime Shipping Auth., 524 F.Supp. 541 (D.P.R. 1981), 1982 AMC 2493;
In re N-500L Cases, 517 F.Supp. 825 (D.P.R. 1981);
In re N-500L Cases, 517 F.Supp. 816 (D.P.R. 1981);
Sea-Land Services, Inc. v. Municipality of San Juan, 505 F.Supp. 533 (D.P.R. 1980), 1981 AMC 827 (Pesquera, Ch.J.);
Gradmann & Holler GmbH v. Continental Lines, S.A., 504 F.Supp. 785 (D.P.R. 1980), 1981 AMC 376 (Grant, Sr. D.J.);
The Home Ins. Co. v. Puerto Rico Maritime Shipping Authority, Civil No. 77-338 (August 21, 1980)(Juan R. Torruella, D.J.);
United States v. Tug J.P. McALLISTER, 1981 AMC 780 (D.P.R. 1980)(Hernan G. Pesquera, D.J.);
La Selecta v.แn G. Pesquera, D.J.); Puerto Rico Maritime Shipping Authority, Civil No. 77-1174 (May 7, 1979)
A/S Ivarans Rederi v. Puerto Rico Ports Authority, Civil No. 76-1022 (D.P.R. Feb. 26, 1979)(Juan R. Torruella, D.J.);
Puerto Rico v. ZOE COLOCOTRONI, 456 F.Supp. 1327 (D.P.R. 1978), 1979 AMC 21;
Florencio Romแn v. Puerto Rico Maritime Shipping Auth., 454 F.Supp. 521 (D.P.R. 1978);
American Intl. Ins. Co. v. S/S FORTALEZA, 446 F.Supp. 221 (D. P.R. 1978);
Sea-Land Service, Inc. v. Amaury Rodrํguez Biascochea, Civil No. 76-173 (D.P.R. 1977);
Chadbourn-Caribbean Industries v. Autoridad de las Navieras, 428 F.Supp. 493 (D.P.R. 1977);
Thompson Mfg. Co. v. Autoridad de las Navieras de Puerto Rico, Civil No. 76-90 (D.P.R. Jan. 5, 1977);
Federal Ins. Co. v. Transconex, 430 F.Supp. 290 (D.P.R. 1976);
Mark v. South Continental Ins. Agency, 1978 AMC 519 (D.P.R. 1976);
Eugene McHugh v. Port San Juan Towing Co., Civil No. 1051-73 (D.P.R. 1975);
Complaint of Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, Plaintiff, as owner of the S.S. ANTILLES, 392 F.Supp. 973 (D.P.R. 1975).
Puerto Rico Courts of Appeal and First Instance:
Mauricio Meneghetti v. Inversiones Isleta Marina, Inc.๚m. CD 1999-1031 (Judge Lydia E. Couvertier-Martํnez)(favorable summary judgment dismissing the complaint)(April 9, 2003)(not published);
Elias L๓pez Sobแ v. Richard Fitzgerald, 1997 AMC 2254 (4th Regional Cir. P.R. 1996);
Tomas Lugo Antonsanti h/n/c Tommy Auto Sales v. Puerto Rico Marine Management, Inc.๚m. 77-8902, Trib. Superior, San Juan (May 21, 1979)(Salvador Acevedo Col๓n, Superior Judge)(not published);
Mel้ndez v. COLSA , 2002 Ala. Civ. App. LEXIS 730 (Sept. 20, 2002).