Maritime and Admiralty Law

Helping with issues at the dock and offshore

If you are facing a maritime or admiralty law matter in Louisiana or another Gulf State, it is time to speak with maritime attorney Kristin M. Lausten

Maritime and admiralty law encompass international, federal, and state laws that apply to international and U.S. waters and maritime activities. Maritime disputes encompass a broad range of activities and allegations. Kristin handles all types of claims, including maritime commercial activity and maritime accidents that cause injuries and fatalities.

Whatever your circumstances, she is prepared to represent businesses, maritime professionals, marine insurance companies, and individuals who have been hurt during complex and nuanced disputes. Contact Kristin today through the online form or call (504) 377-6585 to schedule a consultation.

The Reverse Erie Doctrine

A significant principle within maritime and admiralty law is known as the Reverse Erie Doctrine. This doctrine states that federal maritime laws apply to all maritime cases, even those brought in state court. Typically, when a claim is brought in state court, that state’s law applies to the dispute and dictates the outcome. This is not the case for maritime and admiralty claims. The state court must apply the relevant federal law.

However, that does not mean all state rules and procedures are disregarded. State courts can still require you to follow their local and state court rules. Because of the unique circumstances surrounding maritime and admiralty litigation, it is essential you work with an experienced maritime lawyer like Kristin. She is well-versed in Louisiana state court rules, as well as federal court rules and maritime law. She can represent you at the state or federal level, including in the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Maritime and Admiralty Laws

There are many unique federal maritime laws, which could apply to your claim, including:

  • The Jones Act: Also known as the Merchant Marine Act, this law regulates maritime commerce within the U.S. and provides sailors and seamen with certain rights in regard to their work environment and after suffering an injury. For businesses that transport people and goods into or out of the U.S. or among U.S. ports, it is important to be aware of the Jones Act in order to remain compliant and to respond appropriately when an employee is injured.
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act: The Jones Act does not apply to all workers within the maritime industry, which means the workers not covered by the Jones Act. The LHWCA is a federal law providing for compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation for certain maritime workers who were hurt or developed an occupational disease or illness because of their work. This act applies to longshore workers, shipbuilders, ship-repairers, ship-breakers, and harbor construction workers who were injured while working on U.S. navigable waters or adjoining areas, like docks.
  • Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act: This law applies to employees who work on the Outer Continental Shelf of the U.S. for the exploration and development of natural resources, such as oil and natural gas. This includes workers on off-shore oil drilling rigs. The Outer Continental Shelf is submerged land that exists off the Pacific coast, the Atlantic coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and surrounding Alaska.
  • Carriage of Goods by Sea Act: This law governs the rights and duties of ship owners and shippers of cargo for ocean shipments coming into or leaving the U.S. This is the U.S. statute enacting the International Convention Regarding Bills of lading, better known as the Hague Rules.
  • Death on the High Seas Act: This federal law enables a surviving spouse, child, or other dependent family member to recover damages from a vessel owner when the death of a sailor or seamen was caused by negligence or the unseaworthiness of a vessel in international waters. This act also applies to airline incidents that occur over the high seas.

Maritime Parties Requiring Representation

Kristin represents many types of businesses and professionals throughout the maritime industry, including:

  • Maritime Employees
  • Individuals in the Maritime Industry
  • Cruise Ships
  • Vessel Owners
  • Marine Insurance Companies
  • Maritime Employers
  • Maritime Industry & Other Corporations

If you are fighting a claim under a federal maritime or admiralty law, or you have a legal claim against another party, do not hesitate to contact Kristin to discuss the circumstances and your options. What sets Kristin apart from the rest is the in-depth analysis she conducts of your case. She actively pursues additional evidence to ensure she has a clear view of the various positions within the dispute. Then, she offers a candid recommendation for aggressively pursuing the best possible outcome in your case, which may focus on preparing for trial or pursuing an appropriate settlement. Within this recommendation, Kristin also takes into account your goals, which guarantees you receive a personalized legal strategy and never a one-size-fits-all approach.

Common Maritime Legal Matters

Maritime law is a broad area of law that encompasses many different players and scenarios. Kristin accepts cases on behalf of many businesses, insurers, professionals, and individuals working within the U.S. maritime industry, particularly in the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. Through her representation of maritime and admiralty clients, she handles claims involving:

  • Maritime Accidents
  • Worker Injury Claims
  • Passenger Injury Claims
  • Wrongful Death Claims
  • Vessel Collisions
  • Maritime Liens
  • Recreational Boating Accidents
  • Cruise Ship Incidents
  • Product Liability Claims
  • Cargo Claims
  • Charter Disputes
  • Maritime Commercial Disputes
  • Salvage
  • Limitations of Liability
  • Marine Insurance Disputes

Administrative Maritime Representation

Maritime and admiralty legal matters do not only involve litigation between businesses or businesses and insurers. Kristin is experienced in handling regulatory and administrative matters for businesses and accepts cases involving Federal maritime Commission hearings and U.S. Coast Guard administrative hearings.

If your business is dealing with a regulatory investigation or enforcement action, contact Kristin right away. She offers an aggressive defense against enforcement actions, including civil fines. She is prepared to fight for the best possible outcome in your case, which may require focusing on minimizing fines and other penalties.

Contact an Experienced Maritime and Admiralty Lawyer

When you are facing a claim involving maritime or admiralty law, you need to work with a litigator who is experienced in federal maritime laws and how they are enforced. Kristin regularly handles commercial, corporate, contract, and tort litigation related to the maritime industry. She can represent you during administrative hearings, arbitration or mediation, and in court, and is prepared to take on complex multi-party litigation.

To discuss your circumstances with Kristin, request a consultation through the online form or by calling (504) 377-6585.

What clients say about Kristin M. Lausten