Wilton E. Bland, III

Wilton E. Bland, III, Senior Counsel

Senior Counsel Will Bland, III, one of the founding members of the firm, has more than 42 years of experience as a litigator. Will’s practice focuses on maritime personal injury defense, maritime collision and property damage insurance coverage, contractual indemnity, longshore matters, transportation defense, and general litigation. His clients have included both Fortune 500 and local one-boat companies, and he regularly represents vessel operators, shipyards, both brown water and offshore, oilfield operators, and their insurers in matters involving personal injury, collisions, sinkings, products liability, toxic torts, and contractual disputes. As supported by the peer honors he has received, including Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and New Orleans Magazine Top Lawyers, Will has developed a reputation as one of the top litigators in admiralty and maritime law.

Will is known for being very thorough in his approach to each case and pleasure to work with. “There are a lot of good attorneys, but when it comes to litigation it is all about preparation, finding the witnesses, gathering the evidence and presenting it to the judge or jury as clearly and concisely as possible.”

Following graduation from Tulane University Law School, Will served as an Assistant District Attorney for Orleans Parish. He is admitted to all Louisiana state and federal courts, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States. He has handled numerous jury and bench trials to a successful verdict in state and federal courts across Louisiana.

Professional Activities

  • Louisiana State Bar Association, Member
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Proctor Member
  • Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, Member
  • Risk Insurance Management Society, Associate Member
  • Mariners Club of the Port of New Orleans, Member
  • Ports Association of Louisiana, Member


  • Best Lawyers – Admiralty & Maritime Law (2021-2024)
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers – Transportation/Maritime (2018-2024)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • New Orleans Magazine Top Lawyers – Admiralty & Maritime Law (2015-2021, 2023)

Panels and Presentations

  • Presenter, “Recent Developments in Maritime Law; Cases of Interest,” Offshore Marine Services Association (2016)
  • Presenter, “Combating Fraud Under The Act,” Loyola Law School Annual Longshore Conference (1999)
  • Presenter, “Dealing With Workers’ Compensation Fraud,” Industrial Safety And Rehabilitation Institute Seminar (1998)
  • Presenter, “Ethics Of The Fraudulent Compensation Claim,” Greater New Orleans Barge Fleeting Assoc. River & Marine Ind. Seminar (1998)
  • Presenter, “The Compulsory River Pilot,” Greater New Orleans Barge Fleeting Assoc. River & Marine Ind. Seminar (1993)
  • Presenter, “Punitive Damages,” Greater New Orleans Barge Fleeting Assoc. River & Marine Ind. Seminar (1987)
  • Presenter, “The Barge Sinking, A Panel Discussion,” Greater New Orleans Barge Fleeting Assoc. River & Marine Ind. Seminar (1984)


  • Legal News Columnist, “News From the Docks,” Ports Association of Louisiana
  • Fifth Circuit Symposium-Admiralty, 34 Loy. L. Rev. 599 (1989)

Representative Reported Cases

  • Aintrainer v. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., 97-1554 (La. App. 1 Cir. 4/8/98), 712 So.2d 590
  • Port Arthur Towing Co. v. John W. Towing, Inc., 42 F.3d 312 (5th Cir. 1995)
  • Dehart v. Ferruzzi U.S.A., Inc., 95-0653 (La. App. 4 Cir. 10/12/95), 663 So.2d 466
  • Reed v. Iowa Marine and Repair Corp., 16 F.3d 82 (5th Cir. 1994)
  • Pichon v. Ocean Drilling and Exploration Co., 617 So.2d 38 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1993)
  • Fortenberry v. ODECO,, 607 So.2d 950 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1992)
  • Lee v. Mississippi River Grain Elevator, Inc., 591 So.2d 1371 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1992)
  • O’Bryan v. Folk Construction Co., 594 So.2d 900 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1991)
  • Anderson v. St. Bernard Parish, 543 So.2d 537 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1989)
  • Williams v. Hollywood Marine, Inc., 717 F.Supp. 437 (E.D. La. 1989)
  • White v. Cooper/T.Smith Corp., 690 F.Supp. 534 (E.D. La. 1988)
  • Kattleman v. Otis Engineering Corp., 696 F. Supp. 1111, 701 F.Supp. 560 (E.D. La. 1988)
  • Touchstone v. Land & Marine Applicators, Inc., 628 F.Supp. 1202 (E.D. La. 1986)
  • Philips v. Equitable Life Assurance Co., 413 So.2d 969 (4th Cir. 1982)

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