Arthur A. Severance

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Arthur A. Severance

12011 San Vicente Boulevard,
Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Main: (310) 440-0020


Senior Counsel

Art Severance joined CWL in 2019 but has a long affiliation with the firm, working as an associate at Sands Lerner for six years prior to its merger into CWL and performing contract work for CWL for several years after the merger.

Mr. Severance’s practice focuses on maritime, transportation, and insurance litigation.  He also has experience drafting contracts and handling state and federal appeals, employment matters, fisheries regulation, Alaska Native law issues, and corporate governance.

Prior to joining CWL, Mr. Severance was corporate counsel for Coastal Villages Region Fund, a non-profit that operated a fleet of Bering Sea fishing vessels and used the fishing income to fund economic development projects in Alaska Native villages in Western Alaska.  For several years, he worked as a consultant on maritime cases and had his own solo practice focusing on maritime, transportation, and insurance law.  Mr. Severance also worked as an associate at the Cammarano Law Group in Long Beach where he primarily handled cargo cases.

While in law school, Mr. Severance served as a volunteer judicial intern to the Honorable Barbara L. Major, U.S. Magistrate Judge.  He also externed for the Department of the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and interned at the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs.  In addition, he tutored international law students and students on academic probation and was the executive editor of the California Western International Law Journal.

Before becoming a lawyer, Mr. Severance was a radio technician in the U.S. Navy on the USS Taylor FFG-50.  He was awarded three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals for his service.  Before enlisting, Mr. Severance worked as an English teacher in Germany and Austria.

Mr. Severance has been recognized for his work in maritime and transportation law by Southern California Super Lawyers, which named him a “Rising Star” in the field four years in a row.

Areas of Practice

  • Admiralty and Maritime
  • Insurance
  • Transportation
  • Litigation
  • Appellate



  • LL.M. in Admiralty Law, Tulane University Law School (with distinction, 2007)
  • J.D., California Western School of Law (cum laude, 2006)
  • B.A., University of Colorado, Boulder (1991)


Membership & Admissions

  • State Bar of California, certified as a specialist in admiralty and maritime law by the Board of Legal Specialization since 2011
  • State Bar of Alaska
  • State Bar of Arizona
  • State Bar of Colorado
  • S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits, and all U.S. District Courts in Alaska, California, and Colorado


Professional Associations

  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Federal Bar Association, Admiralty Section
  • Long Beach Bar Association
  • Marine Underwriters of Southern California
  • Tribal In-House Counsel Association
  • CLE Committee, Alaska Bar Association, 2017 to present
  • Admiralty and Maritime Law Advisory Committee, California Bar Association, 2010 to 2017, Chair 2016 to 2017



  • CLE Committee Welcomes New Director, Alaska Bar Rag (Alaska B. Ass’n) (Fall 2019)
  • Ninth Circuit Case Summaries, Admiralitas (Fed. B. Ass’n) (Fall 2017 to Spring 2020 eds.)
  • Navigating Personal Injury and Death Cases, 2018 Annual meeting (Fed. B. Ass’n) (2018)
  • Navigating Personal Injury and Death Cases, Admiralitas (Fed. B. Ass’n) (Winter 2016)
  • Most Courts are Getting it Wrong: There is No Well-Established Federal Maritime Rule Against the Doctrine of Assumption of Risk in Recreational Boating Cases, 25 S.F. Mar. L.J. 195 (2013)
  • Assistant Editor, Maritime Law Association, MLA Report (2011 to 2014 eds.)
  • Researcher, Maritime Law Association, Statistical Analysis of Limitation of Liability Cases 1997-2010
  • Comment, The Duty to Render Assistance in the Satellite Age, 36 CAL. W. INT’L L.J. 377 (2006)


Speaking Engagements

  • Federal Bar Association, The Federal Limitation of Liability Act: LOLA Is Still Afloat After 165 Years; How Long Does She Have Left? February 2016
  • California State Bar Annual Meeting, Rough Waters: Litigating Recreational Boating Cases in State and Federal Court, September 2014
  • Transportation Law Institute, Help Me, COGSA! An Overview of How COGSA Protects Carriers, Terminal Operators, and Stevedores, November 2013
  • California Western School of Law, The Shipowner’s Limitation of Liability Act, March 2013
  • Marine Underwriters of Southern California, Recreational Boating & Admiralty Jurisdiction, February 2013
  • Pacific Admiralty Seminar, Primary Assumption of Recreational Boating Risks, October 2012



Mr. Severance speaks German and has been learning Central Alaskan Yup’ik