Capt. Tuuli A. Messer-Bookman, Esq.

Capt. Tuuli A. Messer-Bookman, Esq.

PO Box 1184
Vaughn, WA 98394
Mobile: 253-649-3471

I have worked as a maritime expert witness and consultant since 1996, on over 100 cases, roughly evenly split between plaintiff and defense. My cases have involved everything from recreational boating accidents to commercial vessels and cargo claims. I am a Professor Emerita of California Maritime Academy and hold a USCG Unlimited Master's license. I have numerous published articles and three books on maritime subjects, including my 2015 book on maritime casualties. I am an inactive member of the California Bar Association, and as a non-practicing attorney, I converse easily with the attorney I work for and understand the nuances and complexities of their cases. I am willing to work world-wide and am negotiable on travel expenses.

Areas of Expertise
  • Admiralty & Maritime
  • Cruise Lines
  • Transportation Safety

Expert Background
Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
A: Master - Unlimited Tonnage, Upon Oceans (STCW) (US Coast Guard)
Professor Emerita - Marine Transportation Dept. - California Maritime Academy
Bridge Watch Standing and Rules of the Road Assessor
Juris Doctor - Univ. of San Francisco School of Law (1995)
BS Marine Transportation - US Merchant Marine Academy (1986)
Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
A: The Nautical Institute
The Council of American Master Mariners
The Propeller Club - Tacoma Branch
The International Assn. of Maritime Lecturers
California Bar Association
Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
A: 23+ years of teaching maritime subjects at California Maritime Academy, focusing on vessel handling, navigation, watch standing, rules of the road, US Coast Guard license exams, cargo, etc. Multiple speaking engagements at Boat Shows, Yacht Clubs, and maritime organizations. Maritime Speaker Series at Tacoma Community College.
Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
A: None of my certificates or licenses have ever been investigated or rescinded.
Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
A: I have worked on over 100 cases since 1998.
Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
A: My expertise is maritime related subjects. Most cases have been on maritime injuries and collisions, groundings and allisions, wrongful death, a cargo damage case, etc.. I also worked on ship tracing for asbestos cases before the asbestos fund was created.
Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
A: roughly 50% plaintiff
Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
A: roughly 50% defense
Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
A: roughly 20 depositions
Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
A: 2019
Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
A: over 20 times, both state and federal courts
Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
A: Testified seven times
Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
A: 25 years
Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
A: consulting, reports, site and vessel inspections, expert witness,
Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
A: initial consult is free, then $350/hour once retained
Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
A: $350/hour
Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
A: $450/hour
Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
A: $450/hour
Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
A: travel expenses can be negotiable if I am travelling extensively or out of state, copy fees, etc. are all set forth in my retainer agreement.


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