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Admiralty and maritime law

Admiralty or maritime law is the substantive and procedural law that governs navigation and shipping on the navigable waters of the United States—including claims for personal injury and property damage.

Article III, Section 2 of the United States Constitution grants original jurisdiction over admiralty and maritime matters to U.S. federal courts, but that jurisdiction is not exclusive, and most maritime cases can be heard in state or federal courts under the “saving to suitors” clause in 28 U.S.C. §1333.

In Texas, as in other states, admiralty or maritime law applies to legal issues related to navigation and shipping on navigable waters. This body of law covers a range of matters, including personal injury and property damage claims that arise on or near the water. The U.S. Constitution provides federal courts with original jurisdiction over these maritime cases, but the 'saving to suitors' clause allows for most maritime matters to also be heard in state courts. This means that parties may choose to file maritime cases in Texas state courts, which can apply federal maritime law alongside state law principles, unless there is a specific aspect of the case that requires federal court jurisdiction. It's important for parties involved in maritime disputes in Texas to consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable in both federal maritime law and relevant Texas statutes to determine the most appropriate venue and legal strategies for their case.

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