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Martin Davies is a man in demand. In the three months since the Deepwater Horizon disaster sent oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the director of Tulane University Law School’s Maritime Law Center has been fielding questions from congressional aides, reporters and investors seeking insight into U.S. maritime law — a complicated, sometimes arcane set of statutes that often bears little resemblance to domestic law.

“Maritime law is obscure to people on the outside,” Davies said. “It’s largely ignored by lawmakers until there is a disaster of some sort, then everyone gets involved.”

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