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The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit decided nine admiralty cases with written opinions in 1998. With one exception, these cases did not involve issues of first impression. They instead fell into the following categories: cases that were decided with reference to existing law; a case in which the court's decision put it at odds with the holding of other circuit courts; a case in which the court's holding continued an expansive trend in maritime law; and a case of first impression involving important constitutional issues.

The cases that were decided with reference to existing law were three admiralty jurisdiction cases, two cases involving contracts, one case arising out of tort, a case involving maintenance and cure, and two cargo cases, one of which is discussed in a fifty page opinion that is a primer of cargo law. The case that created a conflict among the circuits was a case that arose under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act ("LHWCA"). It was settled and dismissed after the Supreme Court granted certiorari, leaving the Second and Ninth Circuits in conflict with the Eleventh over exactly what a "pier" is under the LHWCA. The "expansive trend" case involved the relationship between the maritime wrongful death remedy and state wrongful death statutes. The case raising an issue of first impression, on a return appearance before the court, presented the court with an opportunity to examine the relationship between Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity and the Limitation of Shipowner's Liability Act and its procedural counterpart, Rule F of the Supplemental Rules.

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