What Law is "Saved for Suitors" When a Maritime Tort Case is Filed in State Court?

In some circumstances, state rather than federal law may apply in maritime tort cases, whether filed in state or federal court. Deciding when and to what extent state law may apply is a very difficult task, mainly because of inconsistent United States Supreme Court jurisprudence. This Article suggests a “bright line” test for deciding this choice-of-law issue in maritime tort cases. Additionally, if the case is to be governed by federal law, the Article also suggests a method to decide what law should be applied in the absence of binding precedent or a settled general maritime rule.