Maritime law has lots of things that aren't well known; secrets of sorts. In a series of blog posts we title the "Did-You-Know" series, we'll lift the deck hatches and expose the nitty-gritty of the general maritime law in a fun and informative way. (Of course, this is for FUN and it's conveyed without any guarantee whatsoever as to their accuracy. Always talk to your admiralty attorney to make sure you understand your legal rights.)
• Did you know that a contract to build a vessel is generally not subject to admiralty law?
• Did you know that the Wage Penalty Statutes generally do not apply to yachts or fishing vessels?
• Did you know that a published 1973 admiralty decision was written entirely in rhyme?
• Did you know that federal law generally prohibits a vessel's master from forcibly leaving a crewmember in a foreign port when it is done maliciously and without justifiable cause?
• Did you know that the "Walker Doctrine" a/k/a "Primary Duty Rule" may be used to bar a seaman's right of recovery for an injury arising from a breach of a duty that was the seaman's primary responsibility. Admittedly, it's a rare bird.
Ok, use these nautical nuggets sparingly. What with the cold weather whipping around the northeast I'm hopeful that they'll win you a liquid wager or two that'll warm you up.
Ps. That rhyming reference peeked your interest, huh? The decision's citation is Mackensworth v. American Trading Transp. Co., 367 F. Supp. 373 (E.D.P.A. 1973), and you can find it online.
Underway and making way.
By John Fulweiler