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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


Robert Force is an internationally known authority on admiralty and criminal law who was a co-reporter for the Louisiana Code of Evidence and has written multiple articles and books on maritime law.

Force, now director emeritus of the Maritime Law Center at Tulane, was its founding director, and he holds the only endowed chair in maritime law in the United States. He taught at Temple and Indiana law schools before joining the Tulane Law faculty in 1969. He served as Tulane’s acting dean in 1977-78.

Earlier in his career, because of his criminal law expertise, he was named special master to the U.S. District Court for a major case involving Orleans Parish prison conditions. He has co-authored two landmark texts, The Law of Seamen and The Law of Maritime Personal Injuries, both now in their fifth edition. He also prepared a monograph on Admiralty and Maritime Law for federal judges at the invitation of the Federal Judicial Center. And his international work includes helping to write the maritime codes for Panama and China.

The Seamen’s Church Institute in 2001 named Force a maritime law legend. The President of Panama in 2002 designated him a member of the Order de Vasco Nunez de Balboa. And a book, Jurisdiction and Forum Selection Clauses in International Maritime Law, contains a series of essays honoring Force.

He received the Louisiana Bar Foundation’s 2014 Distinguished Professor Award. 

Professor Force's CV

Fall 2016 - Civil Procedure; Admiralty 
Spring 2017 - International Commercial Arbitration; Admiralty Law Seminar

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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