The Uniqueness of Admiralty and Maritime Law

Admiralty and maritime law was established as a unique body of law by the United States Constitution when the Drafters recognized the need for uniformity and vested the federal court system with jurisdiction over the entire subject matter of admiralty and maritime matters. This grant was only one aspect of the uniqueness of admiralty law. This Article explores the differences in admiralty and shoreside law. From jurisdiction to personal injury, from seaworthiness to salvage, a case in admiralty is often very different from a case in which the shoreside law applies. In a sense, water changes everything. These differences arise from the practical and commercial peculiarities of waterborne activities and trade.