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Cartner & Wolf is a professional limited liability firm with principal offices in Washington, D.C. The senior principals of Cartner & Wolf are John AC Cartner and Peter D. Wolf. Mr. Wolf’s home bar is the State of New York. Mr. Cartner's bar is the District of Columbia; in addition Mr. Cartner is an enrolled Solicitor in England and Wales which allows him to also practice in the Commonwealth and the European Union.


Cartner & Wolf deals with maritime matters in the United States and internationally. The roots of the principals are in maritime law in the admiralty jurisdiction, however the focus of this firm is lifetime planning for maritime and other people in the transport industries. Most of the lifetime planning principles are also applicable to others in the business world.


Cartner & Wolf responds to its clients, whether it be creating new lifeplans or improving existing ones. The firm is unique in that it keeps track of each client by periodically reviewing that client's planning documents, and working with each client to ensure that documents meet the client's current needs. A part of that process is a legacy video record made by the each client for his or her successors, which is kept in the same portfolio as the client’s documents.


Peter D. Wolf


Peter D. Wolf is a member of the Bar of the State of New York. He is also admitted to practice in certain federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and the Bar Association of the City of New York. Mr. Wolf is also a lifetime member and Proctor-in-Admiralty in the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

Peter D. Wolf has been active in the maritime industry for most of his life. He grew up in the family freight forwarding business, was later a crew member aboard ship, followed by working for a steamship company in New York, and then a freight forwarding firm in Paris. He established and operated several maritime businesses thereafter, and held licenses as an Ocean Freight Forwarder and Commodity Trading Advisor. He also was a parcel Charter Broker, and the Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. subsidiary of a marine equipment leasing company.

Peter D. Wolf served as an Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. He was on active duty during the Viet Nam War, and served five more years in the Ready Reserves, attaining the Rank of Lieutenant Commander. Mr. Wolf was assigned positions as Group Readiness Officer and Operations Duty Officer for the Port of New York, where he deployed marine & aviation resources to deal with emergencies, such as search-and-rescue, fire, and oil pollution.

Grinnell College - AB (Bachelor of Arts - Political Science)
Northwestern University School of Law - JD (Juris Doctor)
Pace University School of Law - LLM (Master of Laws and Letters - Environmental Law)

U.S. Coast Guard - Officer Candidate School
U.S. Coast Guard - Merchant Marine Safety School
U.S. Coast Guard - Hazardous Materials School
Association of Ship Brokers & Agents - Chartering Program

Fluent in French
Knowledge of German and Russian

Former Chair, Conservation Commission
Founder & CEO, Center for Sustainable Development

Mr. Wolf has had many of his articles appear in professional publications.
He has been a keynote speaker and panelist here and abroad, both in English and French.



John A.C. Cartner

Biography of John A C Cartner

John A. C. Cartner graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1969 and immediately went to sea as a young third officer on ammunition ships and tank ships in the Viet Nam war zone. He continued sailing, rising in licensure level and began graduate school at the University of Georgia where he financed the M.Sc. and Ph.D. studies by sailing four months a year in the summers while reading independently and performing naval reserve Active Duty for Training during Decembers for two weeks. He was appointed to his first command, a tank ship, the same year he received his doctoral degree. His post-doctoral work was with the U.S. Army Research Institute where he devised mathematical models of tactical weapons systems performances as a soldier-weapon system. During the post-doctoral work he received the M.B.A. degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology/Georgia State University program.

He worked briefly for the Grumman Corporation in ship handling modeling and then established a naval architecture-marine engineering consultancy in Washington, D.C. where among other projects was the pollution response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill under contract to the U.S. Navy.

Leaving that company he went to law school at the Catholic university of America and the University of Maryland Thurgood Marshall School of Law and later received the LL.M. degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in international law. He is a fellow of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (U.S.), the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (U.K.) and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (U.K.). he is a Chartered Engineer in naval architecture (U.K.). He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association and the Law Society of England and Wales and is designated a Proctor in Admiralty by the Maritime Law Association of the united States. He is a member of the Canadian, South African and Australian-New Zealand maritime law associations.

He has been a regular columnist for Lloyds List, Piracy Daily and other maritime publications and is a regular member and contributor to the quarterly journal of the Council of American Master Mariners. He has tried cases in the admiralty jurisdiction in state and federal courts and has argued before a state supreme court in admiralty and has had cases published. He has served various courts as an expert in maritime matters and has published various learned articles in law and engineering journals. He has published two books on maritime matters and has a chapter in another book and has a co-authored book on human rights in press. The second edition of The International law of the Shipmaster will be published in 2014under the title Cartner on the International Law of the Shipmaster. He currently practices law in Washington, D.C. concentrating on matters of piracy, mutiny and barratry and the law of naval architecture and marine engineering.

His avocations include sailing Cape Cod catboats and ancient Greek literature. He is married with four adult children and commutes from his home in Beaufort, N.C., USA to Washington DC in his airplane. He is a member of the New York Yacht Club and the Cosmos Club of Washington, D.C., a director of the Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort and the founder of The Beaufort Coalition for the Arts. He is an Episcopalian and member of St. Paul's Church in Beaufort.