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Maritime & Admiralty

Marine Salvage and the Sinking of M/V Felicity Ace

Marine Salvage and the Sinking of M/V Felicity Ace

The news of the sinking of roll-on roll-off car carrier M/V Felicity Ace provides a unique opportunity to illustrate and distinguish the two major types of marine salvage – pure salvage and contract salvage – and the effect of a “no cure, no pay” provision as included in the Lloyd's Open Form Salvage Agreement. For additional information please see my latest article relating to the ...
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Ships and Boats and Containers of Port

The burning question – the fire aboard the M/V Felicity Ace

Last week the roll on-roll off car carrier M/V Felicity Ace, transporting luxury vehicles from Germany to Rhode Island, caught fire with an estimated $334,500,000 worth of cargo onboard. The fire spread, requiring the crew to abandon ship. The vessel is currently adrift approximately 90 nautical miles from the Azores islands with multiple salvage tugs engaged in firefighting and towing operations to salvage the vessel ...
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Ship Repair Ship Building

U.S. Virgin Islands Open Registry – Ultra Vires and Unconstitutional

This month, the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands (“U.S.V.I.”), Albert Bryan Jr., signed an agreement with the Northeast Maritime Institute, a “Private Maritime College,” to establish the first open vessel registry in the United States. (Proposal ). This registry is, however, likely going to be challenged as unconstitutional. Here is why: As a general rule, the coastwise laws apply to the United States, including ...
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Maritime Concept

Vandeventer Black LLP Listed as the Largest Maritime Law Firm in Virginia

The dynamic business and litigation law firm, Vandeventer Black LLP, was recently listed in the top position of the Virginia maritime law firm’s list for 2019 by Virginia Business Magazine. With an seasoned team of maritime attorneys, including 15 members of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, the firm’s expertise extends to all aspects of maritime law including claims for cargo damage, pollution, ...
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Hand Coding

Malware – A Persistent Threat to the Maritime Industry

During the last several years, many industries have fallen victim to cyber-attacks, and the maritime industry is not immune.  Consider the following recent news reports:  In 2017, the largest container shipping company in the world, A.P. MØller-Maersk, fell victim to NotPetya, a type of destructive malware, that required the installation of 4,000 new servers, 45,000 new PCs and 2,500 applications, costing the organization between $250 ...
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Existing Caselaw that Honors U.S. Choice of Law Clauses in International Contracts is Left Undisturbed by Supreme Court

Since the 1970s, courts have generally recognized the choice of law and forum provisions contained in contracts between international parties.  In some contexts, however, a party will challenge a choice of law provision as unenforceable for reasons of fairness, or because to enforce the clause would conflict with existing law.  Recently, the issue has been raised in a number of cases in the context of ...
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One Dollar Bill

Federal rulemakers consider a rulemaking petition on demurrage and detention charges

Federal rulemakers consider a rulemaking petition on demurrage and detention charges The Federal Maritime Commission has undertaken a process to consider how international shipping companies and marine terminals assess demurrage, detention, and delay damage that may lead to significant changes in the shipping marketplace.  A significant number of shipping and maritime interests have provided public comments supporting and opposing the potential Commission action.                 On ...
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NAVIGATING THE UNITED STATES’ AND THE IMO’S BALLAST WATER MANAGEMENT RULES

Ballast water management has attracted the attention of regulators both in the United States and internationally recently.  If not properly managed, ballast water may introduce invasive species into an ecosystem.  This danger occurs when a vessel collects ballast water, including the organisms in that water, into its tanks in one port and then releases that ballast water and those organisms into a different ecosystem when ...
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Thomas Chappell Joins Vandeventer Black’s Maritime Law Department

Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce the addition of W. Thomas Chappell to the firm’s Maritime & Admiralty Law department as an associate attorney. Chappell will focus on maritime-related services, contracts and matters. He will work principally in the firm’s Norfolk office. “Thomas is a great addition to the firm, and we are pleased he chose to continue his career at Vandeventer Black,” said ...
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Who do you think is a Longshoreman?

THE SEARCH BEGINS: THE IMPACT OF PRIOR LEGISLATION, LEGAL DECISIONS AND DOL INTERPRETATIONS OF THE ACT The Impact of Prior Legislation, Legal Decisions and DOL Interpretations of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Presented by F. Nash Bilisoly of Vandeventer Black, LLP Personal injury recovery in maritime law is inseparably linked to the status of the plaintiff and the defendant--the relationship between the injured party ...
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Resurgence of Defense Base Act (DBA)

Authored by attorney Lisa L. Thatch The Defense Base Act is a federal law that extends the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) to apply to certain categories of employees working overseas. There are three general divisions of covered employees: (1) those working on military bases acquired from a foreign government after 1940, (2) employees of contractors and subcontractors engaged in public work projects for the U.S ...
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Industry Opposes Senator McCain’s Jones Act Repeal Rider to Keystone Pipeline Bill

Authored by attorney Daniel R. Weckstein, Esq. Last week, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) offered an amendment to the already controversial Keystone Pipeline Bill.  His amendment would repeal the Jones Act and its protections for the American shipbuilding and maritime industry.  Under the Jones Act, vessels used for coastwise trade in the United States must be constructed and repaired in American shipyards.  If the Jones Act ...
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