Attorneys

Partner

Manuel Sosa-Báez

Mr. Sosa-Báez has over 20 years of experience litigating civil and commercial matters at both trial and appellate levels in local and federal courts, as well as government agencies. His practice focuses on maritime, transportation and administrative law, and insurance defense and coverage.

In the federal sphere, Mr. Sosa-Báez successfully tried a marine insurance case involving a fire onboard a private yacht and misrepresentations by the insured in his insurance application. After prevailing at trial, he convinced the First Circuit Court to affirm the judgment voiding the policy issued by his insurer client and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case. See QBE Seguros v. Morales-Vázquez, 2018 A.M.C. 2577 (D.P.R. 2018), aff’d 986 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2021), cert. denied 142 S.Ct. 424 (2021).

Mr. Sosa-Báez has also repeatedly obtained partial summary judgments dismissing emotional distress claims against his insurer clients by establishing the applicability of maritime law and demonstrating that the claimants in question were relatives of physically injured persons who were not present at the scene of the subject incidents. See e.g., Cook-Bussman v. Asociación de Condómines de Isleta Marina, 2014 A.M.C. 2925 (D.P.R. 2014); Rodríguez v. Hoyos, 2008 AMC 891 (D.P.R. 2008) and Kunkel v. Motor Sport, Inc., 2004 AMC 1600 (D.P.R. 2004).

In another of Mr. Sosa-Báez’ federal cases, a propane gas distributor brought action against its insurer, seeking coverage for damages to several underground storage tanks during their transport from Texas to Puerto Rico. Mr. Sosa-Báez persuaded the Court that the policy issued by his insurer client only covered the loading process and water carriage up to the dock at San Juan. Moreover, he obtained the dismissal of the case against the insurer by arguing that plaintiff failed to prove that the claimed damages were sustained during the part of the trip covered by its policy. See Tropigas de P.R., Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, 637 F.3d 53 (1st Cir. 2011).

At the state level, Mr. Sosa-Báez procured the dismissal of a complaint against a legal malpractice insurer based on its denial of coverage for an incident where an attorney failed to timely appeal a judgment dismissing a client’s mortgage forfeiture action. Mr. Sosa-Báez was able to establish that the mortgage was null and void from the beginning and therefore, the alleged loss suffered by the law firm’s client was not connected to the way in which the forfeiture action was handled. Accordingly, the Court determined that the malpractice insurer had no duty to indemnify its insured, or the insured’s client. See Frau-Pietri v. American Int’l Ins. Co., JAC2009-0745 (TPI 2012).

Due to his expertise in matters related to administrative law, Mr. Sosa-Báez regularly assists clients with matters before federal government agencies such as the Customs Border Patrol, and state agencies such as the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and the Bureau of Transportation and Public Services.

Mr. Sosa-Báez has also distinguished himself as a professor and lecturer. He taught maritime law at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law from 2005 until 2010 and at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law in the summer of 2005. More recently, since 2013 he has lectured on federal jurisdiction as part of a private federal bar review course.

Mr. Sosa-Báez is a Partner at SCVR. He joined the firm in 2001, after working there as a student law clerk since 1999. 

  • Tulane University School of Law (J.D., with Maritime Law Certificate)
  • Tulane University (M.A., Political Science and International Relations)
  • University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (B.A., History, magna cum laude)
  • Puerto Rico
  • United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
  • United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • United States Court of International Trade
  • United States Supreme Court
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Maritime Law Association
  • QBE Seguros v. Morales-Vázquez, 2018 A.M.C. 2577 (D.P.R. 2018), aff’d 986 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2021), cert. denied 142 S.Ct. 424 (2021) 
  • Cook-Bussman v. Asociación de Condómines de Isleta Marina, 2014 A.M.C. 2925 (D.P.R. 2014)
  • Frau-Pietri v. American Int’l Ins. Co., JAC2009-0745 (TPI 2012)
  • Francis v. Caribbean Trans., Ltd., 2012 A.M.C. 2780 (D.P.R. 2012)
  • Tropigas de P.R., Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, 637 F.3d 53 (1st Cir. 2011)
  • Rodríguez v. Hoyos, 2008 AMC 891 (D.P.R. 2008)
  • Kunkel v. Motor Sport, Inc., 2004 AMC 1600 (D.P.R. 2004)
  • Pan American Grain v. Puerto Rico Ports Authority, 2002 AMC 1988 (1st Cir. 2002)