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Showing posts from April, 2011

Legal issues arising from the Japanese earthquake

I have had numerous friends in the business approach me for my views on the effect the earthquake, and resulting tsunami, has had on the ports and coastlines of Japan. While I cannot imagine the human cost of this disaster and the impact to the Japanese economy, I would imagine that there was and will be, widespread repercussions for the shipping industry. Some of these I see briefly are as follows:

Safe port issues

Shipowners may be reluctant to call at particular Japanese ports in case they have become unsafe. This will require a review of the relevant charter party terms before deciding on which course of action to take. Where a charterparty has a safe port warranty, the warranty will be prospective. In other words, at the time of nomination, the port should be prospectively safe to approach, use and depart from for the period of the ship's likely visit to that port. In the case of time charters containing a safe port warranty, where the Japanese port was nominated prior to the …

Cruise ship discovery order comes out in Southern District 1/25/11

SCHULTE v. NCL (Bahamas) Ltd., 22 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. D574a (S.D. Fla. Jan. 25, 2011) (M.J. Simonton).
Torts -- Negligence -- Cruise ship -- Slip and fall -- Discovery -- Video taken aboard cruise ship at time of plaintiff's slip and fall accident and prior to anticipation of litigation does not constitute work product, and must be produced to plaintiff prior to plaintiff's deposition -- Video is not work product because it was made as part of normal course of surveillance videos made by defendant and was not prepared in anticipation of litigation -- Act of preserving video, in anticipation of litigation and at the behest of counsel, does not convert tape into work product protected from disclosure -- It is appropriate to require production of video prior to plaintiff's deposition to refresh her recollection where defendant failed point to any aspect of video, and/or any action by plaintiff, that would cause court to find that disclosure of video would lead plaintiff to im…

Eleventh Circuit Rules on Contract Rescission March 31, 2011

ODYSSEY MARINE EXPLORATION, INC., et al., v. THE UNIDENTIFIED, SHIPWRECKED VESSEL OR VESSELS, 22 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. C1938a (11th Cir. Mar. 31, 2011):
Admiralty -- Property lost at sea -- Sunken vessel -- Contracts -- Rescission -- Researcher of sunken vessels seeks rescission of written contract in which deep sea exploration and recovery corporation agreed to pay plaintiff cash sum as “payment in full” for his research file concerning location of potentially highly valuable sunken Spanish cargo vessel -- Jurisdiction -- Error to dismiss plaintiff's claim for contract rescission based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction -- Claim is properly cognizable under federal admiralty jurisdiction -- Contracts to provide specific research to assist in locating and recovering a sunken vessel are maritime in nature -- Admiralty jurisdiction is proper where parties are litigating their rights to treasure found on sunken vessel
If you need more details on this case or the full opinion, please…