Jonathan M. Gutoff

Photo of Jonathan M. Gutoff
Jonathan M. GutoffProfessor of Law

Education

J.D., University of Chicago
A.B., Brown University

Professor Jonathan Gutoff is one of the nation’s top experts on piracy and maritime law issues. In addition to his popular courses on Administrative Law, Admiralty, Civil Procedure, and Remedies, Gutoff is a former acting director (and present faculty member) of RWU Law’s Marine Affairs Institute. His articles have appeared in top legal publications such as the Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce (“The Law of Piracy in Popular Culture”), the Tulane Law Review and the University of Pittsburgh Law Review. He has addressed regional, national and international conferences on marine and environmental law issues, and he is regularly sought out for his expert commentary by media outlets as diverse as the National Law Journal and National Public Radio.

Professor Gutoff, a classics major at Brown, earned his J.D. at the University of Chicago.

Articles

An Examination and Consideration of: Jurisdiction and Forum Selection in International Maritime Law: Essays in Honor of Robert Force, 38 Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce 583 (2007)

Fugitive Slaves and Ship-jumping Sailors: the Enforcement and Survival of Coerced Labor, 9 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law 87 (2006) 

A Jurisdictional Prolegomenon to the Limitation of Liability Act, 32 Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce 203 (2001)

The Law of Piracy in Popular Culture, 31 Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce 643 (2000)

Federal Common Law and Congressional Delegation: A Reconceptualization of Admiralty, 61 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 367 (2000)

Original Understandings and the Private Law Origins of the Federal Admiralty Jurisdiction: A Reply to Professor Casto, 30 Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce 361 (1999)

Limitation of Liability in Oil Pollution Cases: In Search of Concursus or Procedural Alternative to Concursus?, 22 Tulane Maritime Law Journal 331 (1998) (with Robert Force)

Admiralty, Article III, and Supreme Court Review of State Court Decisionmaking, 70 Tulane Law Review2169 (1996)

Courses Taught

LAW.631Administrative Law

Click to Open

Course Description

This course introduces the growth and development of administrative law and procedure. Topics include constitutionality and delegation of power, discretion, policy, regulatory and adjudicative functions, rules, orders, jurisdiction, investigative functions, procedures, due process and judicial review.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

3.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

LSM.856Admiralty and Foreign Arbitration

Click to Open

This course meets for six weeks.

Course Description

In this course we'll examine developments in the enforcement, or not, of foreign arbitration clauses in maritime contracts since the Supreme Court decided to enforce them in contracts of carriage of goods in 1995 in The SKY REEFER.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Seminar

Course Credits

1.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Jonathan M. Gutoff

LAW.780Admiralty Law

Click to Open

Course Description

This course involves a study of the jurisdiction of admiralty courts and the laws affecting maritime rights and obligations. Areas included are the history of maritime law, choice of law in admiralty cases, maritime property interests, rights of seamen, carriage of goods, salvage, and collision.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

3.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

LSM.856Current Issues in the Law of Piracy

Click to Open

This course meets for six weeks.

Course Description

This course will consider various current legal issues in the law of piracy, including: the use of force by private vessel; insurance and the payment of ransom money; the extent of Congress' power to define piracy; the appropriate forum for piracy trials; the duty to suppress piracy and flags of convenience; and environmental activism as piracy.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Seminar

Course Credits

1.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Jonathan M. Gutoff

LAW.610LEGAL PRACTICE I

Click to Open

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

2.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

LAW.793Marine Pollution

Click to Open
Marine Affairs Institute

Course Description

This seminar will cover the major United States laws imposing liability for pollution of inland and coastal waters and the high seas, including CERCLA, the Clean Water Act, and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Special attention will be given to the relation between these laws and the general maritime law of the United States; problems of federalism and uniformity; comparison of the United States law with international conventions; and administrative decision making. Some prior knowledge of United States admiralty practice and administrative law would be helpful.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Seminar

Course Credits

2.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Jonathan M. Gutoff

LMA.788Marine Salvage

Click to Open
Marine Affairs Institute

Course Description

Marine salvage is the law of rewarding parties for rescuing goods and preventing damage in cases of marine peril. The concept is unique to maritime law and involves both a different calculation than the Common-Law concept of quantum meruit and give rise to a maritime lien, an ownership interest, in the property subject to salvage. We'll consider the elements of a salvage claim, and the distinction between salvage and other maritime claims, calculation of the salvage award, salvage for prevention of environmental damage, and problem involved in the recovery of sunken treasure including the relation of salvage to the law of finds and abandonment and issues involved in dealing with the United States and foreign sovereigns. In addition procedural issues of arbitration and forum selection will be considered. No prior knowledge of maritime law will be assumed.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

2.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

LSM.787Maritime Liens: Arrest and Property Investment in Vessels

Click to Open
Marine Affairs Institute

Course Description

We will examine the maritime lien in US law and its enforcement through the in rem action at admiralty. Among the topics we will discuss are the judicial development of the maritime lien, the Maritime Lien Act and the Ship Mortgage Act; the difference between arrest and attachment; the personification of the vessel; the priority of liens; the relationship of the maritime lien to other security interests in a vessel; the maritime lien in bankruptcy proceeding; and the maritime lien in transnational maritime litigation including choice of law and claim and issue preclusion. Student will research a topic, present the results of their research, and produce a substantial paper that will fulfill the Law School writing requirement. Some prior knowledge of admiralty procedure and/or substantive law would be helpful but is not required.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Seminar

Course Credits

2.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Jonathan M. Gutoff

LAW.782Maritime Practice and Procedure

Click to Open
Marine Affairs Institute

Course Description

This course examines the procedural aspects of maritime practice. It focuses on the jurisdictional and legal basis of actions in rem, quasi in rem, and in personam. Special emphasis is on the Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime Claims.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

2.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Jonathan M. Gutoff

LAW.622Property

Click to Open

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the law of property, both real and personal. Real property concepts are emphasized. Topics include historical development, common law principles, gifts, estates in land, licenses, easements, restrictive covenants, future interests, contracts for the sale of land, conveyancing, mortgages, the recording system and possessory rights. Land-use regulation will be introduced if time permits.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Core Course

Course Credits

5.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

LAW.738Remedies

Click to Open

Course Description

The remedies course surveys what a court can do for a claimant who has been, or might be, wronged by the defendant. We will address the principal remedies: damages; injunctions (orders to do or refrain from doing certain conduct); restitution (including the possibility of recovering the defendant's gains from a wrongful act, even if the gains exceed the amount of the plaintiff's loss); remedies that simply declare the rights of the parties; pre-judgment remedies before a determination of liability; and the various means of enforcing remedies (including contempt and seizure of property). Throughout the course, we will discuss which of the several remedies are best for the plaintiff, and how to determine the extent of the remedy that the plaintiff may obtain.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

3.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

LSM.856 (Honors Course)Southern Slavery and the Law, 1619-1860

Click to Open

HONORS COURSE
 

This course will meet for six weeks.

Course Description

In this perspectives course we'll to read and discuss Thomas D. Morris, Southern Slavery and The Law, 1619-1860 (1999), as way of examining both the legal institution of slavery in the American South and the ways in which the law reacts to social and economic forces and in influenced social and economic development.
HONORS COURSE

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Seminar

Course Credits

1.0

Course Degree

Juris Doctor

Faculty Associated

Jonathan M. Gutoff

LSM.856Suing the State and Federal Governments in Admiralty

Click to Open

This course will meet for six weeks.

Course Description

The course will consider the federal government's waiver of sovereign immunity in the Public Vessels Act and the Suits in Admiralty Act, as was well as state sovereign immunity in maritime proceedings. Some prior knowledge of maritime law and practice would be helpful.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Seminar

Course Credits

1.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Jonathan M. Gutoff
Close Course Type Descriptions

Course Types

We have classified RWU Law classes under the following headers. One of the following course types will be attached to each course which will allow students to narrow down their search while looking for classes.

Core Course

Students in the first and second year are required to take classes covering the following aspects of the law—contracts, torts, property, criminal law, civil procedure, and constitutional law, evidence, and professional responsibility.  Along with these aspects, the core curriculum will develop legal reasoning skills.

Elective

After finishing the core curriculum the remaining coursework toward the degree is completed through upper level elective courses.  Students can choose courses that peak their interests or courses that go along with the track they are following.

Seminar

Seminars are classes where teachers and small groups of students focus on a specific topic and the students complete a substantial research paper.

Clinics/Externships

Inhouse Clinics and Clinical Externships legal education is law school training in which students participate in client representation under the supervision of a practicing attorney or law professor.  RWU Law's Clinical Programs offer unique and effective learning opportunities and the opportunity for practical experience while still in law school.