SMNR: Selected Topics in Admiralty and Maritime Law

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
WED 3:55 - 5:45 pm TNH 3.116

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


This writing seminar will examine selected topics of student interest regarding all aspects of maritime law ranging from commercial law to “torts at sea.” The field of maritime casualties and transactions involves issues ranging across much of the basic law school curriculum including civil procedure, comparative law, conflicts of law, constitutional law, contracts, creditors’ rights, environmental law, federal courts, insurance, international law, legislation, products liability, property, remedies, torts and workers’ compensation.

In the early weeks of the semester students will be introduced to the broad legal background in this field. Thereafter emphasis will be placed on analytical research and writing skills with maritime law as the subject matter. Guidance will be provided regarding paper topic selection – topics will be suggested, but students may select their own topic subject to approval. Subsequent sessions will consist largely of discussions of ongoing student research, draft paper preparation and review with feedback, and student presentations of the results of their original research.

A traditional seminar paper of roughly 30 pages will be required. During the semester students will present topics of interest to them, detailed outlines of their paper, and rough drafts of their paper for discussion, analysis and feedback. Class discussion of the papers will be an important aspect of the learning experience.

Although the seminar may be taken on a pass/fail basis, students in need of a required writing seminar will be assigned a letter grade based on the quality of the paper and participation in class.

Prior study or experience regarding maritime law will afford some advantage, but such is not a prerequisite.

During the spring of 2024 there are three writing competitions involving monetary awards for papers addressing maritime law issues sponsored by the Federal Bar Association Admiralty Law Section, the Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee of the American Bar Association and the Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation. The Fall timing of this seminar will afford students the opportunity to submit papers in these Spring competitions.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

No materials required


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