Litigation Support


Kells W. Christian

1276 Scott Street • San Diego, California 92106

Phone: 619-223-7380

Accredited Marine Surveyor with over 26 years experience. Expertise in recreational and commercial vessels. Regional Director of Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) for two years. Prominent member of numerous other industry organizations. Unwavering commitment to continued education and tracking current regulations, industry trends, and market conditions. Ability to understand technical functions from multiple angles and explain them clearly in lay-person terminology. Accomplished speaker, writer, educator, and communicator. Raised the bar for quality customer service.

Integrity •  Impeccable Reputation •  Ethical  •  Diligent


CHRISTIAN & COMPANY MARINE SURVEYORS, Inc., San Diego, California        1995–PRESENT

  • Manage day-to-day operations of business and staff. Conducted/oversaw over 7,800 marine insurance claims (300 per year) and 18,200 condition and valuation inspections (700 per year) for wood, fiberglass, steel, aluminum, and ferro cement pleasure yachts, commercial passenger vessels, and commercial fishing vessels. Travel globally to assist with claims and vessel inspections.
  • Provide expert witness testimony with adherence to the highest of standards as set forth by the American Boat and Yachting Council, the National Fire Protection Agency, and the United States Coast Guard. Ascribe to the Code of Ethics and By Laws of SAMS.
  • Developed a thorough system of inspecting vessels inclusive of the following: structural integrity analysis, dry dock inspections, sea trials, electrical systems, propulsion system, fuel system, machinery, navigation, overall cosmetic appearance, and general condition.
  • Attend and instruct at continuing education events, including International Boat Builders Exposition seminars, numerous American Boat and Yachting Council seminars, and local, regional, and national symposiums for SAMS.
  • Developed a program for State Farm Insurance geared toward training their marine claims managers and adjusters. Created text and course materials and taught classes.
  • Authored numerous articles available at


THE MARINE SURVEYORS, INC., Jacksonville/Orlando/San Diego                                       1990–1995

Regional Manager/Field Technician
  • Performed over 2,000 claims assignments for recreational and commercial vessels.
  • Determined cause of loss; performed inspections to determine claim-related damages.
  • Served as liaison between policy holders and repair facilities. Negotiated repair costs. Obtained discounts when appropriate.
  • Performed over 1,500 condition and valuation surveys for underwriters and buyers.
  • Oversaw hiring and training of technicians for the Jacksonville, Orlando, and Seattle
  • Played key role in the San Diego area for marketing, developing new business, and providing services (including P & I theft claims and expert witness services in County and Federal courts). 

MARASSIST, INC., Jacksonville, Florida                                                                                    1988–1990

General Manager
  • Managed a repair business for commercial and recreational vessels up to 80 feet long.
  • Supervised start to finish work for general maintenance, painting, and electrical repairs.
  • Provided preparatory education for United States Coast Guard Captain’s license examinations. Implemented a comprehensive training program for the Marine Division of the Jacksonville Fire Department.
  • Delivered vessels to destinations in the United States and Bahama Islands

JOHN’S RIVER TAXI, INC., Jacksonville, Florida                                                                 1989–1990

  • In charge of operating a river taxi service consisting of 4 vessels carrying 26 passengers each.
  • Provided general maintenance and repair services.
  • Oversaw passenger safety issues in compliance with state and federal regulations.



Seatow inc., Jacksonville, Florida                                                                                          1985–1987

  • Provided services in all phases of the towing and salvage business.
  • Operated the towing vessel; located and recovered vessels in distress; raised submerged vessels; performed salvage and wreckage removal services.



 Cook Islands Flag State Surveyor #94, 2011 – present

Surveyor for San Diego Unified Port District, 2004 – 2005, 2013 – present

Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, AMS #301, Regional Director (2001–2003), current member

International Association of Marine Investigators, member, 2003

American Boat and Yachting Council, member, 1995

San Diego Port Tenants Association, member, 1995

Marine Underwriters of Southern California, member, 1995

San Diego Insurance Adjusters Association, member, 1993



 American Boat & Yachting Council Standards Accreditation (A.B.Y.C.), 2006 – present

A.B.Y.C. member, 1995 – present

Extensive continuing education, including SAMS and NAMS regional, national and international symposiums, ABYC training programs, IBEX (International Boatbuilding Exposition) conferences, etc…

Vessel Fire Fighting Certificate (United States Coast Guard Approved), Pyrotechnical Institute Inc., 1989

Lifeboat Competency Certificate, United States Coast Guard, 1989

Diesel Engine Service Training, Caterpillar, 1992

Insurance Adjusters License (#2B19521), State of California, 1993–present

U.S. Coast Guard Captains License, Vessels up to 50 gross tons and Commercial Assistance Towing Endorsement, 1988–1998

B.S., Mathematics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 1987

Current Rates

Research and preparation $250/hr.
Deposition and Testimony $300/hr.
Travel charge at above rates, unless otherwise arranged.
Daily rates are quoted on a per job basis.

Testimony History

2018 Farrell v. Marine Diesel Services, Inc.
Orange County Superior Court
Case no: 30-2018-00965538-CU-CO-, our file no. 18-30375
Attorney Nina Morkos of Cox Wooten

2018 Williams v Harden
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
Case no 30-2016-852444 CU NP CJC, our file no 18-30352
Attorney Conrad F. Joyner, Jr.

2016 Bear, LLC v Marine Group Boatworks
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
Case no ’14CV2960 BTM RBB, our file no. 14-12363 and 14-30324
Attorney Russel Brown, Gordon & Rees, LLP

2015 PAE v Conconi,
Orange County
Case no. 2014-00738802
Attorney Godes & Preis, LLP

2015 McAdams v State National Insurance Company,
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California,
Case no. 12-CV-1333 BTM MDD, our file no. 14 – 30292,
Attorneys – Matthew Elstein and George Soares, Gordon & Rees LLP

2014 Sea Planes, Inc. v Caterpillar Inc., et al.
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California,
Case no. CV 12-7039 GHK, our file no. 11 – 27348,
Sedgwick LLP

2013 Hendrix v Hazard,
Maricopa County Superior Court
Case no. CV2012 – 094982, our file no. 13 – 30280,
Carnahan, Perry, Hanlon and Hudson LLC

2012 Ronald Bissel and Mistral 64 LLC v Sunseeker USA, Inc., California
Coast Yachts, Inc. and others, our file no. 10 – 30239
David Klosterboer & Associates, attorney Mr. Christopher L. Rhodes

2011 Goode v Hunter Yachts, Nautical Enterprises and others
Case # SC103453 Los Angeles County, CA State Court, our file no. 11 – 30236
Law & Kolakowski, attorneys — Douglas D. Law

2010 – 2012 Pathe vs Nautical Enterprises et al
Case #37-2010-0096224-CU-BC-CTL
Attorney – Barry Ross

2010 Gluck v Tiara Yachts, Volvo Penta, etc.
Ventura County case no. 56-2009-00362990-CU-BC-VTA
Greenburg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP
Attorneys Lee Dresie and Dan Nabel

2007 Barry Fitt v. Markel Insurance
San Diego case no. 05CV1337, Attorney Peter Porter

2006 N & MD Investment Corp. V. Driscoll Mission Bay LLC,
cross defendant Marine Tech, San Diego, CA
Lindahl, Schnabel, Kardasskis & Beck LLC, for Marine Tech

2005 Tabaz v. New Hampshire Insurance & Hayden Insurance
Orange County, CA, Claypool Law Firm, for Hayden Insurance

2005 O’Rourke v. A.I.G., Orange County
Sands Lerner, Attorney, Neal Lerner

2002 (circa) Individual v. Individual & MacDonald Yacht Sales
San Diego, CA

2001 (circa) Fountain speed boat submersion, Yorath Yachts, Orange County

2000 (circa) Individual v. Zurich Insurance
San Diego, CA, on behalf of Zurich Insurance

2000 (circa) Individual v. German shipwright, San Diego

Litigation support cases:


2018 Calle v. Erwin
Superior Court of California, Orange County, Case no. 30-2018-00965880-CU-PO-CJC
Our file no. 18-30357
Attorney – Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP

2018 Capital One, National Association v. James E. Post
Superior Court of California, Riverside County, Case no. RIC1311321, our file no. 18 – 30369
Attorney – David McI. Williams

2016 Kjersti Williams v. Spinklock, USA
San Diego Superior Court Case No.: 37-2015-00007791-CU-PL-CTL, our file no. 16-30335
Attorney – Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz

2017 Equity Investment Holdings v. Clarence U. Finley, JR
U.S. District (Southern), case no. ’17CV0458 W MDD, our file no. 17 – 30359
Attorney – Mitchell Griffin – Cox, Wooten, Lerner, Griffin & Hansen, LLP

2016 Canada Border Service Agency
Canadian International Trade Tribunal, appeal no. AP-2015-029, our file no. 16 – 30337,
Attorney – William St-Roch

2015 Kormylo v. Forever Resorts, et al.,
U.S. District (Southern), case no. 13CV0511 JM WVG, our file no. 15 – 30317,
Attorney – Chelsea D. Yuan, Gibson Robb & Lindh LLP

2014 Yuen & Saga matter,
U.S. District Court for Western District of Washington,
Case no. 2:13-cv-01834-RAJ, our file no. 14 – 30293,
Attorneys – Brian Shiewe and Thomas Heller, Heller Wiegenstein PLLC

2014 John Hanson v Dolphin Sportfishing, LLC,
Our file no. 14 – 30288,
Attorney Scott Cummins, Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield LLP

2014 Gary Simpson v Danielle Morris,
San Diego County Superior Court case no. 37-2012-00087947-CL-PA-CTL, our file no. 14 – 30287,
Attorney Kimberly H.G. Sakai, Wasson & Associates Inc.

2013 Marriage of Roelle, case number FAMVS-902116,
Our file number 10 – 30550
Thompson Family Law, attorney Sherry Thompson,

2012 Gusto v West Marine/Taylor Made Group, LLC,
Case no. 1373735, our file no. 12 – 30269,
Osman & Associates

2011 Sosa v M/Y Nice Try/Markell,
Our file no. 11 – 30234,
Sands Lerner

2011 Chen v George Saidah, Heart of Sailing,
Case no. 37-2011-00098554-CU-PO-CTL, our file no. 11 – 30253,
Gates, O’Doherty, Gonter & Guy, LLP

2011 Old United Casualty v Grundfos Pump Corp.,
Case number CV-2010 00058, our file number 11-30229,
Attorney Jeffrey L. Smith, Sanders & Parks, PC

2011 – 2012 DeMesa v Ross,
Case no. CV09-2980 GAF PLAx, our file no. 30242,
Attorney Dennis Cammarano, Cammarano Law Group

2011 Marriage of Roelle, case no. FAMUS – 902116,
Our file no. 30250,
Attorney Sherry Thompson, Thompson Family Law

2011 Mistral 64 v California Coast,
Our file no. 30239,
Attorney Christopher Rhodes, David Klosterboer & Associates

2010 – 2012 Meyers vs Marquis Yachts,
Our file #10-30230,
Attorney David Marvel of Prenner Marvel PA

2009 Estate of Vincent Martin vs. T.L. Dallas, LTD. and Great Lakes Reinsurance (U.K.),
Case no. 2:08-cv-00546-DGC (2009),
Gordon & Rees, LLP A ttorney George Soares

2010 Hyatt Corporation, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa,
Civil No. 07-00485 ACK BMK (Admiralty),
Gibson Robb & Lindh LLP, Attorney Peter Lindh

2009 Dean Taylor v James R. Sechrist,
Ocean Seacrest LLC, Newport Beach, CA
Gibson Robb & Lindh LLP, Attorney Marissa Huber

2008 Freiwirth v EDL Investment Group
Case # BC 375708 California Superior Court,
Los Angeles CA Attorney David Molinari, Bremer Hwyte Brown & O’Meara LLP

2009 William Young v Travelers Insurance, Newport Beach, our file number 11786

2008 Eric Dillerud v Dufour Yachts, San Diego and international, our file 30173

2007 West Coast Power Cats, San Diego, our file numbers 30147 and 30150

1999 Marriage of Brown, San Bernardino Superior Court, Attorney Sherry A. Thompson

Arbitrations, mediations and other matters

2012 Campbell v Logue et al, Attorney Frank Brucculeri, Kaye, Rose & Partners, LLP

2009 Klein and Assurant Bankers Insurance Co., arbitrator, our file 30189

2008 Consultations for San Diego Unified Port District, Attorney, Ellen Miles, circa 2008

2007 (circa) Crewman v boat owner, mediation with Attorney Douglas Holthaus
San Diego

Two occasions with Attorney Jim Alcantara, Alcantara & Associates, San Diego, CA

1995 (circa) Boat owner and Cay’s Yacht Sales/Dan Cornwell mediation on behalf of vessel insurance carrier

Small claims court assistance on numerous occasions