What is a vessel? In maritime law, important rights and duties turn on whether something is a vessel. For example, the owner of a vessel can limit his liability for damages caused by the vessel under the Limitation of Shipowners’ Liability Act, and an injured seaman who is a member of the crew of a vessel can claim remedies under the Jones Act. Under the general maritime law, a vendor who repairs or supplies a vessel may acquire a maritime lien over the vessel. In these and other areas, vessel status plays a crucial role in setting the limits of admiralty jurisdiction. Clear boundaries are important because with admiralty jurisdiction comes the application of substantive maritime law—the specialized body of statutory and judge-made law that governs maritime commerce and navigation.
September 2014, Vol. 66, No. 5
F. Patrick Hubbard, “Sophisticated Robots”: Balancing Liability, Regulation, and Innovation
Christopher R. Drahozal & Erin O’Hara O’Connor, Unbundling Procedure: Carve-Outs From Arbitration Clauses
Jason Rantanen & Lee Petherbridge, Ph.D., Disuniformity