• District of Columbia
  • Kansas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces


  • American Bar Association
  • Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Propeller Club
  • U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association
  • Women's International Shipping & Trading Association


  • U.S. Naval War College, MA
  • Washburn University School of Law, JD
  • U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, BS
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Sean T. Pribyl


Washington, DC v. +1.202.772.5852 f. +1.202.403.3887

Sean Pribyl is a member of our Maritime Emergency Response Team (“MERT”).

Sean Pribyl focuses his practice on maritime and international law, regulatory matters, litigation, unmanned systems (“drones”), and white collar criminal law. His practice involves:

  • maritime environmental compliance and training regarding ballast water, air emissions, and EPA Vessel General Permit
  • defense of administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement actions
  • unmanned vessels and small unmanned aircraft systems (“sUAS”)
  • pollution incident and marine casualty response
  • marine casualty and collision cases and vessel limitation of liability actions
  • counseling on risk mitigation strategies related to pollution incidents domestically and internationally
  • vessel/facility operations
  • legislative and regulatory affairs
  • Jones Act coastwise trade, citizenship, and crewing issues, including outer continental shelf exemptions and U.S. build/rebuild standards and exemptions/waivers
  • maritime security
  • advising on administrative and legislative solutions for compliance challenges
  • onshore/offshore energy and infrastructure projects
  • ship newbuilding
  • Coast Guard credential suspension and revocation hearings
  • fisheries industry compliance issues

Prior to a joining Blank Rome LLP, Mr. Pribyl served for six years as a U.S. Coast Guard officer and attorney, where he gained experience as an attorney-adviser in legal and policy matters related to international and maritime law, national security, major marine casualties, regulatory compliance, internal government investigations, cybersecurity, environmental crimes, maritime law enforcement, piracy, rulemaking, maritime and critical infrastructure security, the Arctic and Antarctic, Suspension & Revocations, and unmanned aircraft and vessels (“drones”). Mr. Pribyl also gained criminal litigation experience as a prosecutor and defense counsel in several cases, including a multi-defendant complex prosecution involving conspiracy and forfeiture counts while detailed as a Special U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice.

During law school, he competed on the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Team, and earned a Certificate of Concentration in International and Comparative Law.

Prior to law school, Mr. Pribyl worked for eight years as a deck officer aboard U.S. and Marshall Island-flagged offshore supply, container, roll-on/roll-off, break bulk, and fiber optic cable vessels.


  • Counseled international clients on achieving compliance with environmental laws related to U.S. ballast water management regulations under domestic legal framework and international conventions.
  • Advised commercial vessel autonomous technology client on services agreement to conduct on-the-water testing domestically and in Europe.
  • Defended international energy industry parts supplier in oil field personal injury case related to gross negligence claims; drafted discovery requests, prepared motions for pre-trial submission, analyzed use of expert witness.
  • Advised dock owner in allision case alleging negligence against vessel; drafted motions on limitation of liability.
  • Represented ship pilot in marine casualty investigation involving negligence claims; drafted motions for trial.
  • Counseled vessel owner/operator on regulatory compliance matters related to unmanned vessel operations.
  • Defended vessel owners/operators (cruise ships, cargo vessels, fishing vessels) regarding allegations of environmental and recordkeeping violations in criminal and administrative cases.
  • Advised energy exploration company in administrative challenge to federal agency Jones Act (cabotage) rulings and manning requirements in the offshore sector.
  • Defended merchant mariner in attempted revocation of professional credentials by Coast Guard, resolution allowed for continued employment without suspension of credentials.


Mr. Pribyl is an associate member of the Maritime Law Association (“MLA”) Cybersecurity Committee and serves as the MLA YLC Government Counsel Liaison. He is co-chair of the American Bar Association (“ABA”) GPSolo Practice Division Military Lawyers Committee, and vice-chair of the ABA TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee’s Government Relations Initiative.


Mr. Pribyl is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including:

  • 2015, “Outstanding Young Military Lawyer Award,” from the American Bar Association and Judge Advocates Association

A description of the standard or methodology on which the accolades are based can be found here.