Admiralty Law, also known as maritime law, is the body of law that governs anything that occurs on the ocean and navigational waters. In addition, admiralty and maritime law can include personal injury claims by maritime workers and passengers, criminal matters, or issues of trade and commerce. Lawyers certified in this area have demonstrated a high level of experience in the field of Admiralty and Maritime Law. The Legal Specialization program includes an application process based on the attorney's expertise, educational requirements, and substantial involvement in the field.
In California, the board certification for admiralty and maritime law is awarded by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.
Only California attorneys board certified in admiralty and maritime law can advertise or identify themselves as "certified specialists" or "board certified" in California for that field.
The Standards for board certification in admiralty and maritime law must be read in conjunction with the Rules Governing the State Bar of California Program for Certifying Legal Specialists.
The definition of the term "Admiralty and Maritime law" is the practice of law dealing with substantive and procedural aspects of the law that governs vessels, navigation, and shipping.
Admiralty and Maritime Law is defined to include the statutes and regulations that govern the impact of pollution upon navigable waters, the operation of vessels, piers, marinas, and under certain circumstances, may include these activities on the high seas. The term admiralty and maritime law is also defined to include the following:
The maritime lawyer who applies for board certification with The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization must demonstrate that during the applicable time period he or she has been substantially involved in the practice of admiralty and maritime law.
For the topic of choice of forum or forum non-conveniens issues in an interstate or international contract, the following types of cases can be used to show substantial involvement including:
For the topic of proper venue in admiralty and maritime law different types of cases can be used to demonstrate substantial involvement including:
For the topic of admiralty jurisdiction, different types of cases can be used to demonstrate substantial involvement including:
For the topic of choice of law in admiralty and maritime law different types of cases can be used to demonstrate substantial involvement including
Substantial involvement can include preparing and drafting a brief, contract, pleading or other legal document or report including drafting a motion to determine:
Substantial involvement can also involve:
Substantial involvement can include preparing a maritime contract including:
Substantial involvement can also include providing substantive written legal advice or analysis to a client, claimant, or other interested parties regarding the following:
Substantial involvement can involve certain types of vessel transactions including:
In addition, the attorney can demonstrate substantial involvement though other types of experience including testifying or consulting on a matter of substantive U.S. admiralty or maritime law or the standard of care or custom of practice in handling an admiralty and maritime law matter.
Other types of experience can include acting as a judge, arbitrator, special master or mediator in admiralty cases. On a case by case basis, the commission will consider industry experience, such attendance at a maritime academy or having been licensed as a mariner.
Finally, substantial involvement can include preparing a mediation brief and representing a client at mediation or in a matter before an administrative agency/entity in connection with:
A California admiralty or maritime lawyer who applies for board certification must demonstrate that during the applicable time period he or she has completed 45 hours of continuing legal education classes or activities specifically approved for Admiralty and Maritime law, or has received an LL.M degree in maritime law from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association or an equivalent degree.
As an alternative to the requirement of passing a written examination, an attorney can demonstrate that he or she authored a chapter in a treatise or at least two articles on maritime legal issues published in a journal, law review, maritime trade publication or similar periodical.
Likewise, an alternative to the written requirements could involve speaking on maritime law issues at an approved continuing legal education seminar, or before a maritime industry or trade organizations.
Additionally, teaching classes on admiralty law, providing expert testimony, or serving as an editor for the American Maritime Cases can constitute an alternative to written examination requirements under certain circumstances.
Earning board certification in maritime and admiralty law in California is a strong demonstration of the lawyer's high level of experience and skill in this area of law. The State Bar of California specialization program provides a powerful tool when the public begins their search for an attorney.
The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization certifies attorneys for specialization or recognizes certification by an accredited organization. The specialty certification programs in California determine whether the attorney has demonstrated a high level of experience in the specialty field, fulfilled ongoing education requirements, and been evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with their work. Specialist certification gives an attorney recognition for their expertise. Certified attorneys have an advantage when marketing their services because only these attorneys can advertise or identify themselves as "certified" specialists in California.