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Michael A. Orlando
(D) 713 460 9802
(C) 713 530 3250

Strategic thinking. Since becoming licensed to practice law in May 1982, Mr. Orlando has focused on developing strategies that help clients on any given assignments regardless of the issues or the amounts at stake. Mr. Orlando has practiced maritime, energy, commercial, products liability, appellate, insurance defense and coverage, construction, transportation, and professional liability among other areas of law, representing many different business and insurance-related interests in a broad spectrum of claims, litigation, and arbitrations in venues throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast. His clients have included oil and gas companies of all sizes from the majors to family owned, ship owners, manufacturers, charterers, oilfield contractors, stevedores, terminal operators, cargo owners, insurers, a wide variety of marine and energy service and supply companies, financial institutions and many others involved in commerce on the Gulf Coast and in international trade. He is National Counsel for a foreign and a domestic manufacturer for products liability and commercial litigation.

Mr. Orlando is board certified in both civil pretrial practice and in civil trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and has tried cases throughout Texas in federal and state courts as well as in administrative tribunals. His litigation experience includes being lead counsel in a case involving over $100 million in alleged actual damages from inception through his oral argument in the U.S. Supreme Court and ultimate complete dismissal as against his clients. He has also worked jointly with solicitors in other countries on international matters. His experience includes international and domestic arbitrations. In addition to his litigation practice he drafts and negotiates contracts for energy and marine companies, and is particularly familiar with Master Service Agreements, indemnity, insurance and risk allocation issues in such contracts.

Mr. Orlando has been the chairman of the Board of Directors and head of the Executive Committee of the nonprofit Houston International Seafarers Center, known throughout the world as one of the finest centers for visiting seafarers. He is an active member of the Propeller Club of the United States and the Houston Mariners Club, in which he served as chairman in 1991. He was also the chairman of The Houston Port Safety Advisory Council in 1992.

In addition, Mr. Orlando has been the Chair of the American Bar Association, Tort and Insurance Practice Section, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee and the Corporate Counsel Committee. He also served as the Chair of the International/London Market Committee of the State Bar of Texas, Insurance Law Section. He is also an invited member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. Mr. Orlando has been a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States since 1982. He is a Proctor member of that organization and presently serves on the Marine Insurance, Offshore Industries and Proctor Admissions Committees. He has written and lectured extensively on marine, energy and insurance topics. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at University of Houston Law School teaching pretrial litigation. He has been honored for a number of years as a Super Lawyer®, Texas Legal Leaders Top Rated Lawyer® and as an AV rated (highest rating) lawyer by Martindale Hubbell.

Mr. Orlando is a 1979 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Texas, with a degree in Honors Business Program and Finance and he holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 1981.


Pacific Operators Offshore LLP v. Valladolid: Substantial Nexus Text Provides Little Guidance, (April 2012)

One Beacon v. Crowley Marine: Towing Maritime Contracts into the Internet Age, (January 2012)

No Sea Change in Causation Standards under the Jones Act, (July 2011)

U.S. Supreme Court Constricts Carmack Amendment, (September 2010)

Clearing the Muddy Waters of Offshore Contractual Indemnity Disputes: Implications of Grand Isle v. Seacor, (March 2010)

Significant Narrowing of Rule B Attachments, (November 2009)

Supreme Court Declares Punitive Damages Available for Maintenance and Cure Claim, (September 2009)

Choice-of-Law Clauses in Marine Cargo Insurance Policy, (January 2009)

Consistent Dispute Resolute Clauses Needed in Maritime Contracts, (July 2008)

Spill Fund Reimbursement Allowed because of Willful Misconduct, (January 2008)

Supreme Court Resolves Circuit split on Forum Non Conveniens, (August 2007)

Room for Debate on Proximate Cause versus Relaxed Standard of Causation in a Jones Act Context, (February 29007)

OCSLA Trumps Admiralty Jurisdiction, (August 2006)

A New Arrow in the Jones Act Employer’s Quiver, (February 2006)

ADA Applies to foreign-Flag Cruise Ships—In Theory—by Michael A. Orlando, (August 2005)

Taking Some Teeth Out of the Louisiana Oilfield Indemnity Statute—by Michael A. Orlando, (March 2005)

Supreme Court Rules a Dredge is a Jones Act Vessel—by Michael A. Orlando, (March 2005)

Enforcement of Federal Law on Foreign-Flagged Ships in U.S. Waters—by Michael A. Orlando, (November 2004)

Circuit Split Widens over Exculpatory Clauses in Maritime Contracts—by Michael A. Orlando, (February 2004)

Jones Act Status Issue Once Again Wastes Resources of All—by Michael A. Orlando, (September 2003)

A Lien is a Lien, but a Maritime Lien is Not—by Michael A. Orlando, (June 2003)

Maritime Pollution: Mixing OPA and CERCLA Makes for Foul Waters—by Michael A. Orlando, (January 2003)

OSHA Takes A dip in the Sea: Chao v. Mallard Bay Drilling, Inc.—by Michael A. Orlando, (August 2002)

The Difficulty and Confusion Surrounding Removing Maritime Cases to Federal Court—by Michael A. Orlando, (June 2002)

To Remove or Not To Remove, That is the Question—by Michael A. Orlando, (February 2002)

In Rem Admiralty Jurisdiction and the Supplemental Rules—by Michael A. Orlando, (November 2001)

A Vessel Doesn’t Have to be a Criminal to be Arrested In Rem Admiralty Jurisdiction and the Supplemental Rules, (November 2001)

Admiralty Jurisdiction: A Challenge for Even the Seasoned Practitioner—by Michael A. Orlando, (May 2001)

M. Orlando & M. Gabel, The Duty to Defend What a Difference a State Makes! 29 The Brief 14, (Summer 2000)