Stephen J. Galati

Stephen J. Galati



Philadelphia, PA
215-629-1600(T), 215-923-2227(F) 609-670-1192(C)
Swedesboro, NJ
856-241-9779(T), 856-241-9989(F) 609-670-1192(C)

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Stephen’s practice primarily concerns general litigation and admiralty, maritime, transportation, and warehouse related matters. This enables him to utilize both the technical training he obtained at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, where he graduated with a Third Mate’s license, and the knowledge of maritime law that he developed at Tulane Law School. He is a Proctor in the Maritime Law Association of The United States.

Stephen has represented pier owners, warehousemen, terminal operators and other property owners with regard to pier collapses, fires, and disputes regarding refrigeration issues. He has particular expertise in claims relating to the transportation and storage of refrigerated and perishable commodities. He assists growers and importers of these commodities with transportation and warehouse related claims. He also protects their business interests as regards sales and consignment contracts as well as instituting and defending claims under the Perishable Agricultural Commodity Act (PACA).

Stephen also represents employers, including vessel owners and operators in employment and regulatory matters.

His practice also includes:

  • Litigating cargo recovery claims
  • Representing owners and operators of commercial, fishing, and recreational vessels
  • Representing shipyards and vessel repair facilities
  • Representing stevedores and marine terminal operators, including preparation of marine terminal tariffs
  • Defense of marine personal injury and death claims
  • Assisting with maritime regulatory compliance
  • Oil spills, collisions, allisions and groundings
  • Enforcing maritime lien claims through vessel arrests and attachments
  • Insurance coverage disputes
  • Litigation of asbestos exposure claims

Stephen recently secured dismissal of a claim brought against consignee for payment of freight charges.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the  International Refrigerated Transportation Association (“IRTA”) and previously served as Chairman. IRTA is an international, non-profit organization created to develop commercial and trade relations between those engaged in all aspects of commodities requiring temperature and/or atmospheric controls and related services. IRTA is part of the Global Cold Chain Alliance, which includes the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses and the World Food Logistics Organization.

He regularly speaks to clients and industry groups on numerous topics, including the enforcement of maritime lien claims, overseeing the risk of loss for goods in transit, liability for cargo damage, and ascertaining and proving the cause of damage to perishable products.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia (CACCGP).  He is active in community affairs and currently serves on the Planning and Zoning Boards and the Economic Development Committees for South Harrison Township, New Jersey, where he lives with his wife, Ceri and four children. He  is very active in the local softball community and in local civic organizations. Formerly, he was Pack Master of the local cub scout pack.


• 2017 Elected to Board of Directors of Seamen’s Church Institute of Philadelphia and South Jersey
• 2017 presentation and webinar on Whistle-blower liability and prevention
• 2017 Best Law Firm in the field of Transportation in SJ Biz Magazine
• 2016 Named Top Attorney in Philly Biz Magazine
• Speaker and panel moderator at the Pollution Prevention Workshop sponsored by Sea Grant Pennsylvania
• 2015 panelist at the Latin America Economic Business and Trade Forecast Forum
• 2015 named Best Attorney in the field of Transportation in SJ Biz Magazine

Practice Areas:

  • Admiralty and Maritime
  • Civil Litigation
  • Transportation  and Warehousing
  • Insurance


  • Tulane University School of Law, 1986, J.D. (Cum Laude)
  • United States Merchant Marine Academy, 1983, B.S. (With Honors)

Bar Admissions:

  • Pennsylvania, 1986
  • New Jersey, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1988

Professional Affiliations:

  • Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia
  • International Refrigerated Transportation Association
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • New Jersey Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Ports of Philadelphia Maritime Society