Admiralty and Maritime Law
The Rivkind & Margulies law firm have handled all types of Maritime, Admiralty, and boating accident cases. The firm has represented passengers, injured seaman and Maritime workers from all over the world.
Passengers and guests who suffer injuries on boats, jet skis, cruise ships or other types of water craft, may have their personal injury and wrongful death claims decided under the General Maritime Law of the United States, which a judge made law. Admiralty or Maritime Jurisdiction exists in the Federal Courts, and is a special grant of jurisdiction given to the Federal Courts over Admiralty and Maritime claims. While many attorneys who are not experienced Maritime attorneys believe a Maritime or Admiralty claim can only be brought in Federal Court, this is not necessarily true. There is something called the Savings to Suitors Clause in the Constitution which may allow the Admiralty or Maritime claim to proceed forward in a State Court. Regardless of whether the case proceeds forward in State Court or Federal Court under the Admiralty jurisdiction, the Admiralty and Maritime claim will be governed by the general Maritime Law. This is because Admiralty and Maritime Law is Federal Law, and there must be uniformity among the different possible jurisdictions a case can be filed in. Therefore, even if your case is in State Court, the law requires that the Federal Maritime and Admiralty Law apply to the case. However, there may be situations where a state law can be applied if it does not conflict with well established Admiralty and General Maritime Law. An experienced Maritime lawyer will be able to ascertain whether state law can be used to supplement the General Maritime and Admiralty law claims. The Maritime attorney will also be able to determine if filing in Federal Court would result in giving up the right to a jury trial, which may occur if you are required to file the case in Federal Court under the grant of Admiralty jurisdiction given to the Federal Courts. If there is alternative jurisdiction in the Federal Court, such as diversity of citizenship, then an action can be pursued in the Federal Court with the right to a jury trial. Admiralty and Maritime Laws, including jurisdictional issues, are very complex and an experienced maritime lawyer should be consulted in order to advise you of your rights. Brett Rivkind was asked by the United States Congress to testify at hearings on cruise ship safety as an expert in maritime laws. He has also been referred to as the leading authority in the world on maritime law.Related Pages