Admiralty Law

Class Unique: 28080

Anything that happens on or near a body of navigable water is liable to call forth the admiralty jurisdiction of the federal courts and the application of the federal maritime law. The practice of admiralty and maritime law is somewhat specialized--admiralty lawyers still like to call themselves "proctors"--but any lawyer who practices in a port city (on an ocean, river, or lake) or who handles international transactions of any sort is likely to run into admiralty problems. (Yes, there is a lot of admiralty in Baton Rouge, plenty of it in Cincinnati, and probably still a little bit in Ogallala.) England had a specialized admiralty practice, and our Constitution set up admiralty and maritime law as a separate subject in this country by explicitly vesting the federal courts with full (but not exclusive) power over "all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction."  Understanding admiralty and maritime law accordingly entails some historical inquiries as well as a significant re-education in aspects of constitutional law affecting the division of power between the national and state governments. But the focus of the course is predominantly modern law, and the course materials consist in major part of recent judicial decisions and oft-litigated statutes.

This course delves into issues presented by injuries to maritime workers (including the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act); injuries to ship passengers and recreational boaters; carriage of goods under private contracts of carriage (charterparties) and under bills of lading (including the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act); collisions between vessels; marine insurance; and forum shopping in maritime cases. The emphasis is on the present-day problems of maritime lawyers and judges as reflected in current litigation. The name "admiralty" may conjure up images of antiquity, but the practice and study of maritime law is a thoroughly modern matter. There are no prerequisites.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 2:15 - 3:25 pm TNH 3.115
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Allowed
Will use floating mean GPA if applicable


  • Admiralty and Maritime Law in the United States - David W. Robertson, Steven F. Friedell & Michael F. Sturley
      Carolina Academic Press , edition: 3d
      ISBN: 978-1-61163-787-8   (required)
  • Statutory Supplement to Admiralty and Maritime Law in the United States (Third Edition) - David W. Robertson, Steven F. Friedell & Michael F. Sturley
      Carolina Academic Press , edition: current
      ISBN: 978-1-61163-788-5   (required)