Maritime Attachments and Arrests in United States Waters: What Every Foreign Shipping Lawyer Should Know

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Regardless of sea, country, or port, admiralty lawyers are in many respects united through a common bond of various procedural devices that are unique to our trade’s special brand of seaborne litigation. Ships are by their nature transitory objects, and the fast-paced world of maritime commerce has inevitably led to interesting methods with respect to how courts around the world procedurally manage complex admiralty litigation disputes.

This article will build upon that theme as we navigate through United States waters and explore three special procedural devices set forth in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime Claims (the “Supplemental Rules”): the “Rule B” maritime attachment, “Rule C” maritime arrest, and “Rule D” possessory action. These powerful mechanisms are the principal ways to restrain a wide variety of maritime-related property in the U.S. Accordingly, a firm understanding of these particular rules will hopefully assist foreign litigants in gaining a better appreciation of U.S. admiralty litigation.

Originally published in the November 2021 edition of The Journal of Venezuelan Maritime Law.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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