Law Research Guide: Admiralty & Maritime Law

Admiralty law and maritime law are virtually synonymous and are concerned with commerce and navigation over navigable inland waters and the oceans. It includes the law of ships, carriage of goods, harbors, masters, seamen, contracts, marine insurance, salvages, cargo, liens and municipal seizure, marine bankruptcy of ships, etc. Maritime law traces its origins to the ancient maritime countries of the Mediterranean Sea. The United States maritime law is based on British maritime law with the main difference being that the United States extends its jurisdiction to inland navigable waters. The source of admiralty law is an individual country. Law of the sea is international law that governs the behavior of countries with each other with regards to such things as marine pollution.  This guide is a selective overview of resources in the Law Library. It does not include materials that are not held by the Law Library or serial publications that are no longer being published.  For more resources check Baron, our online catalog, or ask a librarian.

Last Updated: Mar. 24, 2016. AJB; Updated May 2013. VT.

 Secondary Sources

For a general introduction to the field consider consulting a preeminent treatise such as:

  • Benedict on Admiralty, by Elijah E. Jhirad & Alexander Sann, 7th Ed.  Treatise Collection, KF1104.B4 1974 and Lexis
  • Schoenbaum's Admiralty and Maritime Law.  Treatise Collection, KF1104.S36 2011 & Westlaw.

Periodicals and Books are also a good place to start.

 Statutes

The following list of U.S. statutes was mostly taken from Admiralty/Maritime Law University of Iowa College of Law Library:

 Rules

The following procedural rules apply in admiralty cases:

Florida Rules of Court: Federal, Reserve Collection, Reference Collection, & Florida Collection, KFF529.A24

 Regulations

Relevant sections of the Code of Federal Regulations include:

  • Title 29: "Labor," Chapter XVII, pts. 1915-1922 (covering Safety and Health Regulations for Longshoring, Marine Terminals, Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Shipyard Employment, and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act)

    • Chapter I (pts. 1-124 & pts. 125-199) - Coast Guard, Department of Transportation
    • Chapter IV - Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, Department of Transportation
  • Title 46: "Shipping"
    • Chapter I - Coast Guard, Department of Transportation
    • Chapter II - Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation
    • ​Chapter IV - Federal Maritime Commission

 Conventions & Agreements

 Case Law Research

There are several excellent places to begin including, but are not limited to, the following:

  • American Law Reports - contains annotations of cases from many courts.  Search the ALR Quick Index or Index for the term "admiralty" and related terms.  Core A, Lexis, Westlaw
  • American Maritime Cases (1924-current) - an unofficial reporter of federal, state, and important arbitration decisions as well as selected reports from Canadian, British, and European Courts.  It contains a comprehensive index and a series of digests.
  • Lloyd's Law Reports (1968-current) - contains British admiralty cases, most useful when no U.S. precedent has been set on a legal issue, or when there are contrary state court proceedings dealing with the same issue of law.

 Select Books From the UM Law Library

In addition, sets many legal researchers are already familiar with such as American Jurisprudence 2d., Corpus Juris Secundum, Moore's Federal Practice, and West's Federal Forms will also have relevant results when looking in the indexes under keywords such as "admiralty," "shipping," and "maritime liens."

 Other Research Guides

Specialized Legal Research by Penny A. Hazelton contains a chapter on "Admiralty and Maritime Law" by Sarah K. Wiant.  This chapter includes a brief history of admiralty law, a survey of the various fields of admiralty law, an annotated list of important laws, and an extensive bibliography of texts and treatises. Reference Collection, KF240.S64.

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QUICKLINKS

Training
Library Hours
Library Staff
Ask a Librarian

ACCESSING DATABASES FROM OFF-CAMPUS OR USING WIRELESS
Instructions: Video  |  Text

HELPFUL PHONE NUMBERS

Library Reference: 305-284-3585
Library Circulation: 305-284-3563
Automated Operator: 305-284-2250
Copy Center: 305-284-3272
Computer Help Desk: 305-284-5297

 

QUOTE
"Perhaps the two most valuable and satisfactory products of American civilization are the librarian on the one hand and the cocktail in the other."
- Louis Stanley Jast, Librarian