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Mar 06 2018

Charleston’s Maritime Law

By Susan Middaugh for The Island Eye News

Charleston, South Carolina, looking across Cooper’s River 1838 by George Cooke.

Maritime Lawyer and Sullivan’s Island resident, S. Scott Bluestein, Esquire, is the invited speaker on Thursday, March 15 at 6 p.m., at the Fort Moultrie Visitor Center Auditorium, 1214 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island.

Charleston developed from a colonial seaport town in 1670 into a wealthy city by the 1750s due to its busy seaport. Rice, cotton, and indigo were exported on ships that sailed in the channel off of Sullivan’s Island. Ships carrying enslaved Africans into Charleston were an essential part of this plantation economy.

By 1700, 30 years after it’s founding, Vice-Admiralty Courts were created to deal with maritime disputes such as seamen’s wages, shipbuilding, cargo, vessel salvage, and crimes committed at sea.

The beginning of the Civil War in 1861 started an economic downturn for Charleston that lasted until the mid-20th Century.

Today, Charleston is again one of the busiest seaports in the U.S. Today’s maritime disputes are still governed by the General Maritime Law of the U.S. that is based on the original British Common law of the 18th century.

Scott Bluestein earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) from the University of South Carolina School of Law and a Master of Laws Degree (LL.M.) in Admiralty from Tulane University School of Law. He has practiced admiralty and maritime law across the U.S. for over 25 years.

Scott and his wife, Natalie, live on Sullivan’s Island, where his family has lived since the early 1940s. Scott is past chairman of the Admiralty Section of The American Association for Justice and the former Port of Charleston Director for the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute.

This event, co-sponsored by The National Park Service and Battery Gadsden Cultural Center is free and open to the public. For information visit Preserving the culture of art and history on Sullivan’s Island.

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