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Maritime Law Glossary

Glossary C | Glossary D - F | Glossary G - J | Glossary L -N | Glossary O - P | Glossary R - S | Glossary T - Z


Appeal - A proceeding whereby one party seeks to have a judicial decision reconsidered by a higher court. Both court and agency decisions can be appealed. The higher court has the power to reverse the original decision if the lower court or agency erred in making the original decision.

Arbitration - A type of alternative dispute resolution where parties resolve their conflict outside of court. Maritime arbitration in the United States is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act. Under this Act, any written provision in any maritime transaction or contract that provides for arbitration of disputes is valid and enforceable, unless there are grounds in law or equity for the revocation of any contract.

Arbitration Clause - A clause in a transaction or contract that requires parties to resolve any and all disputes in arbitration, rather than in court. An arbitration clause can be extremely broad or narrow in scope. Most often, the clause is broad and also specifies a place of arbitration, the procedure to be used in the arbitration, and the controlling law.

Assignment - The transfer of a legal right or interest from one person to another.

Assumption of the Risk - A legal doctrine that refers to a plaintiff's actual awareness of a danger and his conscious and voluntary decision to embrace a known risk. In admiralty law, assumption of the risk is not a defense. If a plaintiff "assumes the risk" in admiralty law, the plaintiff's fault will be apportioned and his recovery will be reduced under comparative fault principles.

Attorneys' Fees - Attorneys' fees are the fees incurred by your attorney in bringing a claim or case. Certain laws permit the prevailing party to recover his or her attorneys' fees from the opposing party.


Beneficiary - A person designated to benefit from an appointment, disposition or assignment, or a person who will receive a right or compensation as a result of a legal arrangement or instrument.

Bills of Lading - A legal document acknowledging the receipt of goods by a carrier or by the shipper's agent, and the contract for the transportation of those goods. A bill of lading details the type of good, the quantity of goods to be carried and the destination to send the goods.

Blacklisting - The act of putting the name of a person or employee on a list of those who are to be boycotted or punished.

Borrowed Servant - A person whose services are, with the employee's consent, lent to another employer who temporarily assumes control over the employee's work. In terms of liability, the borrowing employer is legally responsible through vicarious liability for the borrowed employee's acts.

Burden of Proof - A party's duty to prove a disputed assertion or claim. To satisfy the burden of proof, a party must put forth evidence to prove his or her legal claims.

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