July 30, 2010
Martin Davies, director of Tulane University Law School’s Maritime Law Center and the Admiralty Law Institute Professor of Maritime Law, graced the front page of National Law Journal’s (NLJ) most recent issue, which focused on the rise of maritime law in the wake of the Deep Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
For anyone following the news in the aftermath of the spill, the latest media spotlight on Professor Davies is nothing new. Since April 20, 2010, Davies has fielded questions from congressional aides and reporters (as far away as the Middle East), as well as scholars and investors, all seeking insight into the complex field of U.S. maritime law.
“Maritime law is obscure to people on the outside,” Davies said in an interview with NLJ. “It’s largely ignored by lawmakers until there is a disaster of some sort, then everyone gets involved.”
A multitude of maritime law bills have been introduced to Congress since the spill. Naturally, among the estimated 4,000 U.S. maritime bar practitioners, attempting to develop a consensus about the proposed changes would be nearly impossible. While some maritime attorneys, particularly those with corporate interests, feel lawmakers are moving too quickly, others welcome a majority of the legislation, arguing that change is long overdue.
With so many bills being considered and politicians eager to take action, one can presume that the practice of maritime law is set to see significant alterations before the midterm elections. As for Prof. Davies, there is little chance the media spotlight will be shifting off the “man in demand” anytime soon.
To learn more about the oil spill’s effects on maritime law, read “After Oil Spill Disaster, Maritime Law Is All at Sea: Gulf Coast spill casts doubt upon centuries-old legal principles” by visiting Law.com.