Maritime law is a body of domestic and international laws and treaties concerning navigable territorial, international waters and ocean fisheries. These laws govern the conduct of navy and private sailors and passengers and regulate ships, commerce, navigation, shipping, and goods.
Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, covers a number of land-based activities related to maritime activities, such as marinas and docks.
Maritime lawyers essentially perform the same civil litigation and criminal defense services other lawyers handle. You don't have to be a navy officer to contact a maritime lawyer. The legal issues they handle relate to navigable waterways, canals, the seas and oceans, cargo, commercial vessels, pleasure and recreational craft, barges, offshore oil and gas rigs, and so on.
Life on the world’s oceans, seas and navigable waterways presents legal issues similar to those on land, with notable exceptions, such as piracy, the best known maritime law. While
Generally, a maritime attorney handles statutory laws and procedural rules. These include vessel collisions, civil wrongs (called torts) committed at sea or of an industrial nature, including workman’s compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act.
Maritime lawyers also handle contracts, environmental and energy cases, personal injury claims, negligence claims against employers and unseaworthy vessels that are in navigation to their destination, salvage and towing.
If your legal issue involves maritime law, it is essential to secure the services of an attorney experienced in handling maritime cases. Often, cases involve ships under the flags and laws of other nations, such as cruise ships, and require attorneys to be knowledgeable in the maritime laws of other nations.