A few maritime law nuggets

Who reads these blogs? Am I writing for the crewmember, the barge company executive, the retired engineer, the deckhand, the pilot or the Midwest housewife?

Truth is, standing on a box in Time Square reading these entries aloud would give me a better idea of the crowd than tapping away 19 floors up. Assuming I have a broad and varied audience, I decided to convey six maritime law nuggets (without dipping sauce) in the hope of interesting at least one soul.

In the past, federal courts hearing an admiralty matter displayed an oar in the courtroom. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have special supplemental rules pertaining to admiralty and maritime claims, bearing letters as opposed to numbers. (No, I haven’t heard anyone ever confidently explain the distinction between an admiralty and a maritime claim.) Even if your claim is for damage to property located ashore, if the damage was caused by a vessel then the claim is likely subject to admiralty jurisdiction via the Admiralty Extension Act. Maritime lawsuits are subject to the American rule and the prevailing party can’t typically recover its legal fees. Admiralty law generally applies to all maritime contracts.

Your river pilot is curious. If you read this blog, kindly let me know by adding a comment below. Let me know what you do, and where you do it. Don’t worry about telling me how much you like the prose, just sing out like a radio check. 

Underway and making way.

About the author

John K. Fulweiler

John K. Fulweiler is a licensed mariner and experienced admiralty attorney. He represents individuals and companies throughout the East and Gulf Coasts and has recently taken command of his own maritime law firm. He enjoys navigating the choppy waters of the maritime law, but readily admits to missing life on the water. He can be reached at john@fulweilerlaw.com . His website is www.saltwaterlaw.com.

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