Norman J. Ronneberg, Jr.


  • University of Oslo Law Faculty, Norway - LL.M., International Maritime Law, 1976
  • University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law - J.D., 1975
  • University of California, Berkeley - A.B., 1971

Practice Experience

Norm Ronneberg, who retired January 2017, practiced with Bullivant's litigation group in the San Francisco office. Inquiries about cases or areas of practice Norm was handling should be directed to Andy Downs at

Norm had taken more than 55 civil cases to jury verdict or judgment, had argued and briefed more than 20 appeals in federal and state courts, and had taught maritime and tort law in the United States and Europe. He concentrated his practice on commercial, maritime, insurance (often bad faith defense) and transportation litigation. However, he also had significant courtroom experience with First Amendment (freedom of association) and Fifth Amendment (due process) constitutional issues. Most recently, he successfully tried cases involving product liability, pollution, defamation, medical peer review and physicians' commercial disputes with hospitals and health care districts. In addition, he regularly appeared before Administrative Law Judge tribunals to argue maritime license and Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act disputes. Norm was an active member of Bullivant's insurance coverage team.  

Norm was named as a Certified Legal Specialist in Admiralty and Maritime law by the State Bar of California. He received a Masters of Law degree in maritime law from the University of Oslo in Norway, was co-counsel for three Norwegian trials, and is well-versed in the law of Norway and other Scandinavian countries. Formerly with one of the largest law firms in the United States, he also focused on insurance and toxic tort defense. He spent almost ten years as a United States Justice Department (Civil Division) trial lawyer. In that capacity, he represented the United States in admiralty, aviation, and tort claim litigation, and prosecuted several major oil pollution cases (OPA-90 and CERCLA) on behalf of the federal government. Norm was also selected to be an instructor for the United States Department of Justice Trial Advocacy Program.

Awards and Honors

  • AV® Preeminent™, Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 — Transportation/Maritime)
  • Highest AVVO Ranking
  • Instructor, United States Department of Justice Trial Advocacy Program

Advisories and Insights

Publications and Presentations

  • Chapter Author, "Understanding Maritime Law: Leading Lawyers on Navigating the Rules of Oceanic Trade and Recreation (Inside the Minds)," Aspatore Books (2015)
  • Speaker, "Bills of Lading, Choice of Law and Attorney's Fees under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act," The Bar Association of San Francisco Pacific Admiralty Seminar (2014)
  • Author, "Life Preserver: An Overview of U.S. Maritime Law for Non-Maritime Lawyers," University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal, Vol. 26, No. 1 (2013-2014)
  • Speaker, "Life Preserver: An Overview of Maritime Law for Non-Admiralty Lawyers," West LegalEdcenter (2012)
  • Speaker, "Punitive Damages in Federal Courts," Marine Insurance Association of Seattle (2010)
  • Speaker, "Using Maritime Law as an Effective Claims Resolution Tool," San Francisco Marine Claims Association (2010)
  • Speaker, Property Claims Association of the Pacific Oil Pollution Fund Seminar & Lunch (2008)
  • Author, "California Fair Claims Handling Regulations: Guidelines for Overseas Insurers" (2005)
  • Speaker, "Protection and Indemnity Clubs: Significant Recent Marine Insurance Developments in U.S. Courts," Pacific Admiralty Seminar (2002)
  • Author, "What Every Ship-Master Should Know about Maritime Law in U.S. Courts," The Nautical Institute (1995)
  • Author, "An Introduction to the Protection and Indemnity Clubs and the Marine Insurance They Provide," University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal (1991)
  • Author, "Shipowners' Right to Limit Liability," MARIUS, the Journal of the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law (1976)