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Robert Force

The Niels F. Johnsen Chair of Maritime Law and Director Emeritus, Maritime Law Center
BS, 1955, LLB, 1958, Temple University; LLM, 1960, New York University

E-mail:  rforce@tulane.edu
Telephone:  504.865.5947
Office:  Weinmann Hall, Room 255-G



Professor Force clerked for state and federal judges in Pennsylvania, practiced law in Philadelphia, and taught law at Indiana University before coming to Tulane in 1968. He teaches courses in admiralty and criminal law. Professor Force was named special master to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana for a major case involving conditions in the Orleans Parish Prison. His current research activities are largely in the area of admiralty and maritime law, but he has co-authored the Louisiana Code of Evidence as well as numerous articles on maritime law. Professor Force and his colleagues, Professor Yiannopoulos and Professor Davies, have co-authored two coursebooks used in Admiralty I and II. Professor Force has authored two well-known admiralty texts, Force & Norris on The Law of SeamenI (Fifth Edition) and Force & Norris on The Law of Maritime Personal Injuries Fifth Edition).

Professor Force is director emeritus of the Maritime Law Center, of which he was the founding director and holds the only endowed chair in maritime law in the United States. He was Acting Dean from 1977 through 1978. In 2001, Professor Force was honored by the Seamens Church Institute as a maritime law legend and received its Distinguished Maritime Law Award. In 2002, he was honored by the President of Panama, who designated him a member of the Order de Vasco Nunez de Balboa.  A book, Jurisdiction and Forum Selection Clauses in International Maritime Law edited by Professor Martin Davies , contains a series of essays in honor of Professor Force.

Professor Force's CV 

Fall 2014 - Civil Procedure I; Admiralty I

Spring 2015 - International Commercial Arbitration


The Legacy of Miles v. Apex Marine Corp., 30 TUL. MAR. L. J. 35 (2007)
Shipment of Dangerous Cargo by Sea, 31 TUL. MAR. L. J. 315 (2007)
U.S. Maritime Law, 2006 L.M.C.L.Q. S175 (with Martin Davies)
Choice of Law in Admiralty Cases: “National Interests” and the Admiralty Clause,75 TUL. L. REV. 1421 (2001)
Deconstructing Jensen: Admiralty and Federalism in the Twenty First Century, 32 J. MAR. L. & COM. 517 (2001)
An Essay on Federal Common Law and Admiralty, 43 ST. LOUIS U. L.J. 1367 (2000)
Tort Reform by the Judiciary: Developments in the Law of Maritime Personal Injury and Death Damages, 23 TUL. MAR. L.J. 351 (1999)
Limitation of Liability in Oil Pollution Cases: In Search of Concursus or Procedural Alternatives to Concursus (with J. Gutoff), 22 TUL. MAR. L.J. 331 (1998)
Post-Calhoun Remedies for Death and Injury in Maritime Cases: Uniformity, Whither Goest Thou?, 21 TUL. MAR. L.J. 7 (1996)
A Comparison of the Hague, Hague-Visby, and Hamburg Rules from a U.S. Perspective: Much Ado About (?), 70 TUL. L. REV. 2051(1996)
Liability for the Carriage of Deck Cargo Under U.S. Law, 3 INT'L MAR. LAW. 14 (1996)
The Curse of Miles v. Apex Marine Corp.: The Mischief of Seeking “Uniformity” and “Legislative Intent” in Maritime Personal Injury Cases, 55 LA. L. REV. 745 (1995)
Proposed Coast Guard Regulations Dealing with Shipboard Emergency Oil Pollution Plans (Implementation of MARPOL 73/78), 2 INT'L MAR. L. 27 (1994)
Determining the “Number of Packages in Container Shipments”, 1 INT'L MAR. L. 91 (1994)
“Rusting” Wood: “Neutralising” the Description of the Condition of Cargo, 1 INT'L MAR. L. 91 (1994)
Allocation of Risk and Standard of Care Under the Jones Act: “Slight Negligence,” “Slight Care”?, 25 J. MAR. L. & COM. 1 (1994)
The Structure of the American Legal System - A Brief Explanation for Non-United States Lawyers, 1992 LLOYD'S MAR. & COM. L. Q. 73
An Introduction to Personal Injury and Death Claims in the People's Republic of China (with X. Chen), 15 TUL. MAR. L. J. 245 (1991)
Two Models of Maritime Dispute Resolution: Litigation and Arbitration (with Mavronicolas), 65 TUL. L. REV. 1461(1991)
Admiralty and Maritime Law: Recent Developments, 24 TORTS & INS. L. J. 169 (1990)
Determining Admiralty Tort Jurisdiction: An Alternative Analytical Framework, 21 J. MAR. L. & COM. 1(1990)
Current State of Evidentiary Privileges in Louisiana (with K. Triche), 49 LA. L. REV. 733 (1989)
Louisiana Code of Evidence - A Retrospective and Prospective View (with G. Pugh, G. Rault, and K. Triche), 49 LA. L. REV. 689 (1989)
Maritime Products Liability in the United States, 11 MAR. LAW. 1; reprinted in 31 TRIAL LAW. GUIDE 339 (1987); and the MEREDITH MEMORIAL LECTURES, 1987 (1986)
The Louisiana Administrative Procedure Act, 42 LA. L. REV. 1227 (1982)
Bill of Rights of the Courts: Imperfect and Incomplete Protection of Human Rights in Criminal Cases, 56 TUL. L. REV. 148 (1981)
The Politics of Prison Reform, TUL. LAWYER (Spring) (1980)
Fifth Circuit Symposium: Criminal Law and Procedure, 21 LOY. L. REV. 615 (1975)
Administrative Adjudication of Traffic Violations Confronts the Doctrine of Separation of Powers, 49 TUL. L. REV. 241(1974)
Decriminalization of Breach of the Peace Statutes: A Nonpenal Approach to Order Maintenance, 46 TUL. L. REV. 367 (1972)
State "Bill of Rights": A Case of Neglect and the Need for a Renaissance, 3 VA. L. REV. 125 (1969)
Civil Disobediance: A Conglomerate Review, 21 ADMIN. L. REV. 27 (1968)
Legal Problems of Abortion Law Reform, 19 ADMIN. L. REV. 364 (1967)
Mens Rea v. Strict Liability, RES GESTAE, Ind. St. B. J. (1965)
Criminal Law and Procedure, Annual Survey of New York Law, 1960, 35 N.Y.U. L. REV. 1431 (1960)

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