Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2060944
 


 



Inside the Blackwall Box: Explaining U.S. Marine Salvage Awards


Joshua C. Teitelbaum


Georgetown University Law Center

June 14, 2013

Supreme Court Economic Review, Forthcoming
Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-017

Abstract:     
Under U.S. maritime law, a salvor of imperiled maritime property on navigable waters is entitled to a monetary award from the owner. When the salvage service is rendered voluntarily in the absence of a contract, the court determines the salvage award according to six factors enumerated by the Supreme Court in The Blackwall, 77 U.S. 1 (1869). The law, however, does not specify a precise formula or rule for calculating awards on the basis of the Blackwall factors. How do courts turn their findings on the Blackwall factors into salvage awards? This article addresses this question by examining the reported decisions of U.S. courts in salvage cases from 1799 to 2007. It employs two statistical methods — fractional polynomial regression and regression tree analysis — to make inferences about the mapping from factors to awards implicit in the salvage cases. In addition to presenting the first systematic empirical study of U.S. marine salvage awards, which complements the traditional doctrinal analysis offered by maritime commentators, an important contribution of the article is that it showcases statistical methods that are well suited to empirical doctrinal analysis but are underutilized in legal scholarship.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 61

Keywords: U.S. marine salvage awards, maritime property, maritime law, salvage cases, salvage law, empirical legal scholarship

JEL Classification: K00, K30, K39

Accepted Paper Series





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Date posted: May 16, 2012 ; Last revised: June 19, 2013

Suggested Citation

Teitelbaum, Joshua C., Inside the Blackwall Box: Explaining U.S. Marine Salvage Awards (June 14, 2013). Supreme Court Economic Review, Forthcoming; Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-017. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2060944 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2060944

Contact Information

Joshua C. Teitelbaum (Contact Author)
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
600 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-661-6589 (Phone)
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