Admiralty Outline

Admiralty Outline - 1Admiralty Law Outline Summer 2002...

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1Admiralty Law Outline Summer 2002 Chapter I- The Basics: Admiralty Jurisdiction, Conceptual Structure, and Practice A. Historical Background -Art. III, sec.2 provides that judicial power of the U.S. extends to admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. -Admiralty refers to a court hearing arising from naval and marine matters. -Maritime means of or pertaining to the sea. 1) DeLovio v. Boit- insurance libel (suit) upon an insurance policy that insured a vessel against losses at sea. Common law courts asserted that admiralty has juris. only when the parties have bound themselves in rem. If they have bound themselves personally (in personam), its juris. is said to be ousted. Issue- What is the true interpretation of “cases of admiralty and maritime” jurisdiction? Rule- Cases of maritime juris. must include all maritime contracts, torts and injuries. Torts are bound by locality. Contracts extend over matters related to the navigation, business or commerce of the sea. Held- Policies of insurance are within adm. and maritime juris. -DeLovio limited juris. to actions in rem (agst. a vessel) and not allowing actions in personam (agst. a shipowner, master or other person). However, this rule was short lived. 2) The Thomas Jefferson- The libel claims wages earned on a voyage to MO and back. Issue- whether the libel is of admiralty juris. Rule- No, because the work was performed several hundreds of miles above the ebb and flow of the tide and can’t be considered as wages in maritime employment. This was a tidewater limitation that was eventually done away with. - Ct. after this case found that the flow of the tide could be felt 95 miles away and upheld admiralty juris. (sign of tidewater rule change.) - There was a lot of 19th century political heat about expanding admiralty juris. 3) The Genesee Chief v. Fitzhugh- Collision case that caused another vessel to sink. Jurisdiction was extended by the Great Lakes Act. Juris. issue. Prior juris. had been confined to tidewaters. Issue- Could commerce clause regulate? Ct. says the great lakes act contains nothing about commerce. Tidewaters and navigable waters were deemed synonymous. This case overruled The Thomas Jefferson case and held. It is evident that a definition that would at this day limit public rivers in this country to tidewater rivers is inadmissible. We have thousands of miles of public navigable water where there is no tide. Rule- The lakes and waters connecting them are public waters and within adm. and mari. juris. C:\Documents and Settings\mgriffin\My Documents\Admiralty Law Outline.doc
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4) The Eagle- The Eagle which was towing a brig and a barge grounded the brig on a shoal causing the barge to collide with the grounded brig. Issue- Is there adm. juris. This ct. overrules the Genesee Chief case and determines that general juris. in admiralty upon the lakes and the waters connecting them has become inoperative. B.
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Admiralty Outline - 1Admiralty Law Outline Summer 2002...

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