Admiralty & Maritime Law (Code 11)


The Navy JAG Admiralty and Maritime Law Division is responsible for the U.S. Navy’s world-wide admiralty and maritime law practice. The Division’s primary clients are the Secretary of the Navy, the Judge Advocate General, the fleet commanders, the Commandant of the Marine Corps and all Department of the Navy (DoN) activities at sea and ashore. The Division also represents DoN in relations with other agencies, particularly the Departments of Justice, State, Interior, Commerce, Energy and Transportation regarding maritime matters.



The Division is responsible for handling all admiralty tort and maritime contract claims and litigation for and against DoN, and admiralty salvage claims and litigation against DoN. The Secretary of the Navy has statutory authority to settle and pay claims not in litigation and has delegated settlement authority to the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (Admiralty and Maritime Law) / Admiralty Counsel of the Navy. A summary of claims procedures is provided in the publication section below.


The Division supervises and coordinates cooperative litigation efforts with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), Civil Division, Torts Branch, Aviation and Admiralty Section on all Navy maritime cases. Officers trained in the Division are assigned as trial attorneys within DoJ where they serve in trials across the nation.

Navigation Rules

The Division provides legal advice on the Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (72 COLREGS) and Inland Navigation Rules; is responsible for reviewing navigational light placements aboard DoN vessels; and, when appropriate, certifies Navy vessels to be in compliance with the 72 COLREGS when a deviation is required.

Maritime Environmental Law (Natural Resources)

The Division is active throughout the maritime environmental law field and handles all maritime environmental tort claims and litigation on behalf of the DoN. The Admiralty Counsel provides consultation on a broad array of Federal government interagency working groups studying, drafting and implementing various maritime environmental law statutes, regulations and international conventions.

Maritime Law (Cultural Resources)

The Division maintains a proactive role across the full spectrum of maritime historic preservation issues affecting sunken U.S. Navy ships and aircraft, and other U.S. maritime properties worldwide, and provides advice on legal aspects of maritime historical preservation to the Director, Naval Historical Center, as well as to all its primary agency clients.

In appropriate cases, the Division causes initiation of litigation to preserve and protect historic properties of the United States, whether located within or outside U.S. territorial waters.

Regulatory and Legislative Review

Reviews and comments on a broad spectrum of statutes, regulations and international conventions affecting DoN and Department of Defense (DoD).


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Contact Admiralty
& Maritime Law

Mailing Address:
Admiralty & Maritime Law (Code 11)
1322 Patterson Ave., Suite 3000
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5066
Phone Numbers
Comm: (202) 685-5040
DSN: 325-5040
Fax: (202) 685-5471
Do not to include PII in the email.
0700 – 1700
Monday – Friday