Maritime Updates

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Hong Kong court - enforcing a maritime arbitration award by arresting a ship

The arrest of a ship to obtain security for a maritime claim in jurisdictions where this is permitted is a powerful weapon in the armory of a claimant in shipping disputes. There has, however, been a concern that a claimant...more

Is payment of time charter hire a condition? The Astra reconsidered.

In Kuwait Rocks Co v AMB Bulkcarriers Inc (The Astra), Flaux J determined that the obligation to make punctual payment of hire under an amended NYPE time charter, whether on its own or in conjunction with an anti-technicality...more

Fifth Circuit Rules Only a Seaman Can Commit Seaman’s Manslaughter

A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court serves as a good reminder that criminal statutes say only what they say, and that it is up to the legislature to revise statutes to expand their scope...more

Is payment of time charter hire a condition? “The Astra” re-considered

In Kuwait Rocks Co v AMB Bulkcarriers Inc (The Astra) (as reported in a previous post), the court determined that the obligation to make punctual payment of hire under the amended NYPE time charter in that case was a...more

United States Coast Guard Guidance May Encourage Use of Liquefied Natural Gas as a Marine Fuel

On February 25, 2015, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) published two final policy letters on the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. Released in draft form in February 2014, the policy letters address...more

Mainbrace: March 2015 No. 2

In this issue: - A Note from the Editor - Congress and Administration Take Cautious Approach to Crude Exports as Oil Prices Fall - Meet Blank Rome—Fairfield Sentry: Comity, Seller’s Remorse, and Chapter...more

Highlights from the Admiralty Law Institute

The 25th Biennial Admiralty Law Institute kicked off with great success on March 11, 2015. Informative presentations continued on March 12-13, building on the theme of this year’s conference, “Symposium on Maritime Personal...more

Admiralty Law Institute Kicks Off in New Orleans

The Admiralty Law Institute runs from March 11-13 in New Orleans. March 11, 2015, marked the first day of the 25th Biennial Admiralty Law Institute. Held at Tulane University in New Orleans, the ALI is the oldest and largest...more

OWCP on Verge of Amending Regulations to Include Electronic Submissions

On Thursday, March 12, 2015, the Department of Labor Office of Workers Compensation Program (OWCP) filed in the Federal Register (Volume 80, No. 48) a direct final rule and request for comments with regard to changes to OWCP...more

Eighteen Percentage Spread between Pre- and Post-Judgment Interest Rates Affirmed

The current post-judgment interest rate in federal court is the infinitesimally meager rate of 0.22% (that is 22 hundredths of a percent, not 22 percent) as per statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1961(a). ...more

Mind The P’s and Q’s (And Bast?) Of DP – USCG And BSEE Issue Joint Safety Alert Regarding Dynamically Positioned Offshore Supply...

Continuing their post-Macondo/Deepwater Horizon symbiotic approach to regulating the offshore oil industry, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a joint Safety...more

First Circuit Recognizes Uberrimae Fidei In Admiralty Context

The First Circuit recently examined, in the admiralty context, the doctrine of uberrimae fidei, a legal doctrine requiring that all parties to an insurance contract deal in good faith and fully disclose all material facts....more

Coast Guard seeks comments on multiyear renewal option for vessel documentation fees

In the March 3, 2015 Federal Register, the Coast Guard published a request for comments related to the Vessel Documentation Renewal Fees established in August 2014. The Coast Guard is considering options for implementing...more

Eleventh Circuit Refuses to Apply International Safety Management Code as Basis for Vessel Negligence

In John Horton v. Maersk Line, Limited, Case No. 14-14450 (11 Cir., 02/27/2015) the 11th Circuit issued an unpublished decision finding that the International Safety Management Code (the “Code”) did not create vessel duties...more

Executive Labor Summary - February / March 2015

Massive labor disputes on two of three U.S. coasts - Large scale industry-wide labor disputes were in the news daily in early 2015. A West Coast port labor dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and...more

What is your broker up to? Broker found to have authority to enter into a fixture and guarantee

Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd v Salgaocar Mining Industries Private Ltd (2015) (Unreported) - After extensive negotiations, London brokers fixed a 10-year charterparty on behalf of their principals, the Charterers. The Charterers...more

Whistleblower Laws Increasingly Vital for Government Enforcement Efforts

In 2014, a crewman aboard a Japanese cargo ship videotaped the vessel illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean and later turned the tape over to the U.S. Coast Guard. One year later, the resulting $1.8 million penalty for...more

West Coast Ports Labor Turmoil - Time to Dust Off That Overlooked Force Majeure Clause?

The simmering labor dispute between the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents West Coast port owners, has begun to capture the attention of businesses that have...more

Texas Supreme Court Rules Additional-Insured Coverage is Limited by Underlying Indemnification Agreement in In re Deepwater...

In a much anticipated 8-1 decision, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that BP is not entitled to additional-insured coverage in In re Deepwater Horizon, No. 13-0670 (Feb. 13, 2015)....more

The $750 Million Comma? BP Is Not Entitled To Coverage For The Gulf Oil Spill As An Additional Insured Under Policies Issued To...

The Supreme Court of Texas ruled on February 13, 2015, that BP is not entitled to coverage as an additional insured under insurance policies Transocean procured for the Deepwater Horizon. ...more

$750,000,000 Missing Comma Comes Unhinged in BP’s Additional Insured Claim

Action Item: Courts must consider whether an insurance policy incorporates other documents and the extent thereof in evaluating the existence of additional insured coverage. Parties should evaluate the policy and underlying...more

Fifth Circuit Clarifies Rules on Seamen Who Provide False Information During Pre-Employment Physicals

The U. S. Fifth Circuit recently held that an injured seaman was precluded from recovering maintenance and cure where he intentionally provided false information during a pre-employment physical conducted by a previous...more

What if the West Coast Ports Shut Down by Lockout or Strike? Is it Time to Invoke Taft-Hartley?

Since the expiration of a labor contract in July 2014, negotiations for a new contract have dragged on between management representatives of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA)—a multi-employer bargaining association...more

A New Wave – Eleventh Circuit Rejects “Barbetta Rule,” Opts for Cruise Line Liability

What happens if a passenger gets sick on a cruise ship and the treating physician, employed by the cruise line, is negligent in caring for the passenger? Is the cruise line liable?...more

Court of Justice of the European Union Rejects the Appeal of Italian National Extradited to the United States for Price-Fixing...

On February 9, the Court of Justice of the European Union made public its January 28, 2015 order rejecting the appeal of Mr. Romano Pisciotti, an Italian national who was extradited from Germany to the United States in April...more

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