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From the Transportation Archives: The Perfect Storm: The Parameters of a Successful “Act Of God” Defense in Freight Claims

Federal and state law have long established that a shipper cannot prevail in a freight claim against a carrier if an “Act of God” caused the freight damage, loss, or delay in question. This “Act of God” defense is available...more

The Issue of Priority and Statutory Ship Mortgages in the British Virgin Islands

Shipping business in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is fast developing, and with this development, it is important to understand some critical elements, being financing and taking of security; hence, the significance of BVI...more

Nationality of Vessels on Sea Trials Under U.S. Law

In 2013, approximately 1,147 commercial and military vessels were delivered by United States shipyards. This total includes vessels of all types – 8 deep-draft vessels and structures, 219 OSVs, tugs, towboats, passenger and...more

The OSV Regs Cometh

As previously reported here, the offshore industry has been anxiously awaiting new United States Coast Guard (USCG) regulations for large offshore supply vessels (OSVs) in the wake of the 2010 Coast Guard Authorization Act...more

How Convenient: Vessel Registration and Mortgages in the Republics of the Marshall Islands and Liberia

Two registries of significant interest to shipowners are the registries of the Republics of the Marshall Islands and Liberia. Significantly, insofar as it does not conflict with the statutory laws, each country has adopted...more

“Law of the Flag” Held Not to Apply to Action on Unenforceable Gambling Debt in Florida Bankruptcy Court

In this bankruptcy contract case, the debtor, a cruise vessel operating as a gambling casino, fronted $200,000 to a blackjack gambler who submitted checks for the cash but then stopped payment on the checks. The debtor sued...more

The Carriage of Goods at Sea Act Requires that Suit Be Brought Within One Year of “Delivery”

In this case, the plaintiff entered into a contract of carriage wherein the defendant agreed to ship pears to a consignee in Brazil. A later inspection discovered that the pears froze during the voyage, causing the fruits to...more

No Claim for “Financial Unseaworthiness” When Passengers Never Board Vessel

This case arose in a bankruptcy proceeding. A creditor had pre-paid a substantial sum for cruises on a vessel. The vessel owner and operator filed bankruptcy before the cruises took place, and the creditor sought return of...more

Enforcing Foreign Judgments in U.S. Admiralty Courts: Second Circuit Prefers Substance Over Form

After protracted and expensive litigation overseas, you obtain a judgment against the defendant. There remains one series of hurdles left to cross: the defendant refuses to pay that judgment and has no assets in the country...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 68-Neil Swidey, author of Trapped Under the Sea [Video]

In this episode of the FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report, I visit with Neil Swidey, author of Trapped Under the Sea. Neil connects Safety, Management and compliance in talking about his compelling new book. ...more

Is a Floating Casino Subject to Maritime Jurisdiction?

In some cases, yes. In this case, a paddlewheel vessel, the Belle of Orleans. served as a dockside casino on Lake Pontchartrain. It became unmoored during Hurricane Katrina, damaged nearby property, and was liable for...more

A Contract to Repair a Vessel Is a Maritime Contract, but a Contract to Sell a Vessel Is Not.

In this case, an insurance company sued Mercury Marine and First Choice Marine after a boat dropped off for repairs was stolen from First Choice’s premises. The insurance company brought a subrogation claim, standing in the...more

Cooper v. Meridian Yachts – Complex International Maritime Case

In this complex international admiralty case, a sea captain sustained an injury as a result of a defective food lift on a ship. The ship owner, manager, and employer brought third-party claims against the ship designer and...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 62-Self Disclosure Issues Under the FCPA, a conversation with Bill Athanas and David... [Video]

In this episode I visit with Bill Athanas and David Simon on what issues a company should consider when evaluating whether it should self-disclose to the DOJ/SEC about potential FCPA violations...more

A New Era For Vessel Sharing Agreements – FMC Allows P3 and G6 Alliances To Go into Effect

On March 20, 2014, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced that by a vote of 4-1, it had decided to let the P3 Network Vessel Sharing Agreement, among CMA CGM S.A., A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S trading under the name of...more

Fla. Case Provides Practicum On Arbitrability

The Middle District of Florida recently, in U.S. Surety Co. v. Edgar, provided a practicum on arbitrability jurisprudence under the Federal Arbitration Act, answering key questions about (1) whether nonsignatories to an...more

Validity And Enforceability Of Seaman’s Release

The recent ruling in Double J. Marine, LLC v. Matthew Nuber, No. 13-5825 (E.D. La. Dec. 11, 2013) serves as a key reminder that employers need to be mindful that courts scrutinize release agreements as seamen are the wards of...more

BOEM Gives a Lesson on How Not To Survive NEPA Review

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the plaintiffs that the Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to support oil and gas leasing in the Chukchi Sea was flawed. ...more

Sin of Omission: Ninth Circuit Splits with the Fifth, Finds That Failure to Include Addendum No. 2 Creates Ambiguity in Marine...

In a marine builder's risk policy coverage dispute decided under Washington state law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a grant of summary judgment for Underwriters. ...more

New Insurance Law in Chile

Chile’s new insurance law came in to force on 1 December 2013. The new rules amend the Chilean Code of Commerce, including rules deriving from the 1865 Civil Code. We have summarised some of the features of the new law....more

Perils of the seas needn’t be too perilous

When the cargo vessel “Irene EM” grounded on 30 October 2009 in the Gulf of Khambhat, underwriters declined cover as the loss was not caused by a peril of the sea. The term “perils of the seas” refers only to...more

Designated Entity Clauses — No Substitute For Knowing Who You Are Dealing With

With increasing frequency, parties to charters and other maritime contracts are including so-called Designated Entity Clauses or “OFAC” provisions. These clauses have the aim of complying with sanction programs such those...more

Unrest in Egypt – issues faced by shipowners

Current status in Egypt - The overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi by the Egyptian military has resulted in violent scenes, civil unrest and hundreds of deaths across Egypt. Many in the maritime world are watching...more

2013 AAPA Port Administration and Legal Issues Seminar - Update on the Rotterdam Rules

In This Presentation: Update on the Rotterdam Rules. Excerpt from Update on the Rotterdam Rules - What is it? ..The Rotterdam Rules is a new draft multilateral Convention to update the liability...more

Surely, There’s a Better Way: A Critique of Current Federal Regulation of Marine Terminal Operators

In This Presentation: Federal Regulation of Ports; Federal Port Regulation in a Nutshell; Additional Prohibitions (Apply to other actors, not bound by reasonableness factors); Agreements Must be Filed if . . .; Other...more

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