Admiralty law, often referred to as Maritime law, involves an ancient, wide ranging, and constantly changing body of law comprised of International Conventions, Federal Regulations, Federal and State Statutes, and domestic (and sometimes foreign) Court decisions, touching every aspect of maritime commerce. Examples of these sources of law include, but are not limited to:
Rotterdam Rules, the Hague Rules, the Hamburg Rules, the Hague-Visby Rules, the Warsaw Convention, and the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea;
Inland Navigational Rules, Occupational Safety and Health Regulations, Environmental Regulations, and United States Coast Guard Regulations addressing topics ranging from navigation to crew licensing to firefighting equipment;
Jones Act, the United States Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, the Harter Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the Louisiana Oilfield Anti Indemnity Act, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the Limitation of or Exoneration From Liability Act, and the myriad state statutes (and, often, international rules and practices) addressing Marine Insurance for Protection & Indemnity, Hull & Machinery and Pollution Risks provided by conventional foreign and domestic insurers and Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Clubs;
Federal and State Courts in the United States, including the United States Supreme Court, which make up the General Maritime Law, as well as sometimes interpreting maritime laws, codes and decisions from foreign countries.
Admiralty and Maritime law address the relationships between parties, and claims related to the transportation of goods by water (internationally and domestically), sinkings, strandings, vessel collisions and allisions, vessel fires, salvage, pollution, personal injuries, seaman status, maintenance and cure, seaworthiness, fleet composition, the ownership, sales, chartering, operation, and repair of vessels, products liability claims, offshore oilfield operations, tug and barge towage, inland waters, environmental claims, and certain related, land-based activities including, but not limited to wharfage and the operations of docks and warehouses, and marine insurance coverage.