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Copyright © 2005 The New Jersey Law Journal
The New Jersey Law JournalJuly 18, 2005, Monday
LENGTH: 212 words
HEADLINE: Litigation Spoils - Timothy Barrow returned to his office last week from an expedition for sunken treasure.
Litigation Spoils - Timothy Barrow returned to his office last week from an expedition for sunken treasure.
The Lebanon admiralty lawyer joined a dive to the wreck of the luxury liner RMS Republic, which went down off Nantucket in 1909. On July 8 a federal judge in Boston granted Barrow's client the rights to salvage the wreck through 2008.
Barrow represents New York entrepreneur Martin Bayerle, who located the ship in 1981 and plans to spend $12 million on the recovery. Bayerle believes the wreck contains gold coins worth billions, but some historians doubt the gold is there.
"It's a high-risk, high-reward situation. Anybody who's involved with it is fully aware of that," says Barrow.
Barrow convinced the court his client was more qualified for the job than two rivals competing for salvage rights.
One rival was William Cleary, a Hackensack personal injury lawyer whose competing suit in federal court in Newark was dismissed in 2001 after he submitted pleadings with the wrong coordinates for the Republic site. Cleary hoped to display the spoils at two shipwreck-theme restaurants he owns at the New Jersey shore. He credits Bayerle's perseverance.
"If in fact there's gold on the wreck and through the efforts of 20 years he receives it, he deserves it," Cleary says.