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Supreme Court

Stolt-Nielsen Appeal Fails in Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter on July 25 rejected an emergency appeal from Stolt-Nielsen SA to freeze the Justice Department's pursuit of antitrust charges against it. Stolt-Nielsen has challenged the power of government prosecutors to revoke an amnesty agreement shielding it from prosecution over an alleged plot to divvy up customers in the parcel shipping business, which involves the transport of bulk liquids such as chemicals. The company's emergency petition asked the U.S. Supreme Court to bar lower court proceedings against it and a U.S.-based executive, Richard Wingfield, while a separate appeal to the Supreme Court on underlying legal issues was pending. Souter, acting for the court, turned away that request. In filings with the court, the company said the uncertainty is weighing on the company's business. According to The Associated Press, Stolt-Nielsen's stock price has dropped 37 percent since a federal appeals court ruled against in March 2006. The Justice Department, in its own Supreme Court filing, said it revoked the amnesty deal because it believes the company didn't hold up its part of the amnesty deal. Amnesty was revoked in March 2004 and the matter has been in litigation since then. A panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia in March ruled that federal courts didn't have the power to block government prosecutors from pursuing the company and its officers because of the amnesty deal


Ex-'Exxon Valdez' Refused Entry by India

Exxon Valdez Aground: Photo credit NOAA US Govt.

In New Delhi the Supreme Court bans the old Exxon Valdez from entry & scrapping until decontaminated The ship, now known as the "Oriental Nicety," entered Indian waters last week and was headed for Gujarat, when the Supreme Court gave its order, according to a news report in 'The Times of India'. The ship was bought recently by the Hong Kong-based subsidiary of an Indian shipbreaking firm and was being taken to the coastal town of Alang, the hub of India's shipbreaking industry


Former B.C. Ferries Safety Director Sues

The Canadian Press is reporting that former safety director of B.C. Ferries who resigned after the sinking of the Queen of the North is suing the corporation, saying Ferries failed to heed his warnings of a possible catastrophic incident without fleet-wide safety improvements. Darin Bowland filed a writ of summons in B.C. Supreme Court claiming damages for negligent misrepresentation, wrongful dismissal, loss of reputation, as well as aggravated and punitive damages.


Supreme Court Finalizes Decision on Marine Submerged Lands

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a final decree regarding Alaska's assertion of ownership of certain marine submerged lands in the southeast portion of the state. The court finalized its earlier ruling that the federal government retained ownership of those portions of the Alexander Archipelago more than three geographical (nautical) miles from shore because those waters do not constitute historic inland waters. The federal government retained ownership of those portions of North Bay


OSHA Shares Jurisdiction with USCG over Uninspected Vessels

The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that, because the U.S. Coast Guard exercises minimal oversight of ‘uninspected vessels’ of the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor shares jurisdiction over working conditions thereon. In the instant case, respondent was cited by OSHA for unsafe working conditions on its oil and gas exploration barge. Respondent challenged the citation


California SECA Regulations Upheld by Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court voted not to review the Ninth Circuit Court’s opinion upholding the California ocean-going vessel fuel regulations The Court did not provide an explanation of why it decided not to take this particular case. No further legal action is being considered. All ocean-going vessels calling at California’s ports are required to comply with these regulations when the vessel comes within 24 miles of the Californian coast


ADA Applies to Foreign Cruise Ships

A sharply divided Supreme Court issued a lengthy and confusing ruling that holds that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to the public spaces on foreign cruise ships calling in U.S. ports. The reader is left to determine why. There is one short opinion that garnered the necessary five votes and holding that the public accommodation and specified public transportation definitions of the ADA include foreign cruise ships


FMC Dismisses Action Against SC State Port Authority

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued an Order dismissing the proceeding against the South Carolina State Port Authority based on the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that the state port authority, as an agency of the state of South Carolina, was entitled to sovereign immunity from complaints brought by citizens of another state in a federal forum. South Carolina Maritime Services, Inc. v. South Carolina State Ports


Australian Shipbuilder Gets Repreive

According to the online publication the Australian, 's largest privately owned shipbuilding business -- Adelaide Ship Construction International -- won a Supreme Court reprieve from eviction by the state government over a rent dispute, with the government claiming the company owed $127,612.65 in rent arrears.  (Source: The Australian)  


Former Congress Lawyer to Serve as AdvanFort Legal Counsel

AdvanFort Company said attorney Sheila R. Schreiber has come onboard as its in-house legal counsel. Schreiber brings experience in the private and public sectors. She is a former litigation partner with Howrey LLP, served as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary and has extensive experience in the national and international sales of industrial products. Her specialties include commercial, regulatory, employment, intellectual property


Court Denies WQIS Motion for Injunction

A New York State Supreme Court Judge has ruled against WQIS in a dispute involving the marine pollution insurance arena. According to Safe Harbor, this is the second ruling against WQIS in its attempt to prevent start-up Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance from entering the insurance space where


India Drops Anti-piracy Charges against Italian Marines

India has dropped a plan to prosecute two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen under a tough anti-piracy law, a government lawyer said on Monday, offering a chance to end a diplomatic row between the two countries.  


Justices Question Obama Climate Change Regulations

By Lawrence Hurley, Reuters The U.S. Supreme Court appeared closely divided on Monday as it weighed whether the administration of President Barack Obama exceeded its authority when crafting the nation's first greenhouse gas emissions regulations.


Scalia to Address CGA Corps of Cadets

The Honorable Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, is scheduled to speak at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy March 18, as the 2014 Hedrick Fellow. Justice Scalia will address the corps of cadets in Leamy Hall Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., in an event that is open to the public.


American Investors and Colombian Government Battle over $17 Billion Treasure Salvage

A group of investors sued the Colombian government for preventing American salvage group Sea Search Armada from recovering San Jose, a ship that sank in 1708, often referred to as the “Holy Grail of Shipwrecks.” With numerous court rulings throughout the years


Belize Court Stymies Offshore Drilling Plans

Belize's Supreme Court declared offshore drilling contracts issued by the Government of Belize (in 2004 and 2007) null and void. The ruling, handed down by Justice Oswell Legall , was in response to a case brought by Oceana, COLA, and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage


Treasure Hunters File Another Suit Against Columbia

Sea Search Armada's (SSA) lawsuit against the Government of Colombia in U.S. District Court, Washington D.C. claims it interfered with SSA's legitimate treasure salvage operations. The galleon San Jose carried coins and precious metals mined and smelted in Peru


David Williams Awarded Emery Medal

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David Williams, CEO of the Noble Corporation, was honored as the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s “Salute to the Maritime Person of the Year” at the Petroleum Club in Houston. Mr. Williams was awarded the Emery Rice medal, the Academy’s highest award presented for


Rebuilding the Presumption of Preemption

Dennis L. Bryant, Maritime Regulatroy Consulting, Gainsville, FL

I propose that the Legislative, Executive, Judicial Branches of the federal government should cooperatively work toward the rebuilding of the presumption in favor of federal preemption with respect to all matters related to maritime commerce


When is a Vessel Not a Vessel? Maritime Law Podcast Explains

A.M. Best Co. has released the latest installment of the Insurance Law Podcast , a series that examines timely insurance issues from an attorney’s point of view. This episode features attorney David Skeen of the firm Wright, Constable & Skeen, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr


Somali Pirates Jailed by Seychelles Court

Arrested pirates handed over: Photo credit EUNAVFOr

11  pirates have been convicted in the Seychelles Supreme Court of committing acts of piracy and operating a pirate vessel between 7 – 11 May 2012. Their sentences ranged from 18 months to 16 years. The pirates had been apprehended by the Royal Netherlands Navy frigate


Eleven Pirates Convicted in the Seychelles

Transfer of pirates to Seychelles authorities in May 2012

On October 2, 2013, eleven pirates were convicted in the Seychelles Supreme Court of committing acts of piracy and operating a pirate vessel from May 7-11, 2012. Their sentences ranged from 18 months to 16 years. The pirates had been apprehended by the Royal Netherlands Navy frigate


Landmark ECJ Ruling on Liability Limitation for Cargo Theft

Jos van der Meché

Rotterdam based law firm AKD said a recent landmark decision of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg definitively puts its weight behind forum shopping to limit liability under the CMR Convention in carrier-friendly countries. This is a boon to the Dutch jurisdiction and specifically comes


EU, Seychelles Conduct Counter-Piracy Exercise

pirate ex 1.jpg

On Friday 10 January, the Seychelles Coast Guard, Air Force and Police Force, together with the EU Naval Force Somalia - Operation Atalanta and EUCAP Nestor, carried out a counter-­piracy exercise in the Seychelles. The exercise involved the boarding of a suspected pirate skiff that had


London P&I Club Renews Warning on Cargo Liquefaction

The London P&I Club said the lifting of an iron ore ban in India, together with the recent total loss of two ships, has put the spotlight once again on the problem of cargo liquefaction. In the latest issue of its StopLoss Bulletin, the club said


 
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