Today we had the honor of being invited to speak to the maritime law society at Stetson University College of Law.
Stetson has the oldest law school in Florida, founded in 1900. Its campus is located on the beautiful Mediterranean style architecture campus in Gulfport, Florida.
I discussed the topic "Crime on Cruise Ships," and explained the epidemic of cruise crimes on cruise ships over the past decade.
Assisting me with the presentation was Caitlin Burke (bottom right), an intern at our firm. Ms. Burke graduated from the University of Florida where she majored in Recreation, Parks and Sport Management. Ms. Burke wrote a senior honor's thesis entitled a "Qualitative Study of Victimization and Legal Issues Relevant to Cruise Ships." Caitlin was also a guest blogger last year when she authored Why Cruises are NOT the Best Vacations with Kids.
Stetson has a well established introductory maritime program and a well organized Maritime Law Society. The event was well attended. Assistant Professor Christine Cerniglia (bottom left) - who previously handled maritime litigation in New Orleans for several years - attended the power point presentation with her students.
In the past decade there have been hundreds of sexual assaults and unexplained disappearances of passengers and crew members from cruise ships. The issue of the safety of passengers and crew has been highlighted by the International Cruise Victims organization and five Congressional hearings on cruise lines crimes in the past five years.
The students appeared interested in many of the issues we have discussed in prior articles on this blog:
The "disappearance" of Merrian Carver on the Celebrity Mercury cruise ship.
The death of cruise passenger Dianne Brimble.
The issue of crimes against children on cruise ships.
We received a nice email from Ceara Riggs, the President f Stetson's Maritime Law Society, while we were driving back to Miami:
"Thank you very much for driving all the way from Miami to speak at our meeting this afternoon! You had many interesting stories to share and your experiences really seemed to engage and captivate everyone in attendance.
It was very insightful to hear that even though we’re only law students, we can start making a difference.
It was especially beneficial to hear from Caitlin, as well, because she could share her own experiences and how she tries to make a difference in this industry. Thank you again and we hope you will be able to visit our campus again in the future!"
Thank you Stetson Law for inviting us! We will be back . . .