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Showing posts from April, 2013

What the "Bleep" is MLC 2006 and Why Should I Care?

Since my last few blog posts on the MLC, I have repeatedly heard this question with increasing frequency. While mainstream clients have been increasingly asking about the Maritime Labor Convention 2006 (“MLC”), which comes into force on August 20, 2013, others question the "need to know". Ship owner clients wonder what it means for them—in a nutshell, non-compliance with the requirements of the Convention will result in port state control (PSC) detentions. Insurers ask what it means for them—it means knowing what your policy states and how the Convention is interpreted to know whether a given situation is covered under the policy. Yacht managers and operators figure it does not apply to them, so many of them simply want a letter from me to cover themselves that they are not required to be compliant. When I tell them that such a letter may not be possible in their given situation, all of a sudden, I get “what the !@#$%” is this law and why am I subject to it? This blog post i…

Is the Industry Asleep to the MLC?

Good news is that clients have been recently seeking more guidance on the Maritime Labor (or Labour for our English friends) Convention 2006 ("MLC"). It would appear that my continued ramblings on the MLC, which comes into effect on August 20, 2013, has garnered some mild attention.

The MLC consolidates most existing International LaborOrganization maritime conventions into one document. It sets minimum standards for conditions of employment, hours of work and rest, accommodation, recreation, food and catering, health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection. Some 35 flag states, covering more than 70% of the world fleet, have ratified the convention to date. They include major flags such as the Marshall Islands and Panama, and maritime nations Australia, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Norway, Singapore and Spain. MLC member nations issue maritime labor certificates to vessels under their flag, which are prima facie evidence of the vessel compliance with th…

Carnival's Woes Continue with Unacceptable Health Grade

My week at Cruise Shipping Miami had me socializing with the cruise shipping set, including various "worker bees" at Carnival Cruise Lines. I am unable to divulge their private comments as to what is going on within the company and their ships, but their woes have been heard not only by me as the sympathetic ear, but U.S. cruise passengers... As reported in the Daily Business Review and every television station in South Florida recently, federal inspectors cited Carnival's FASCINATION cruise ship in February for flies, dried food waste and a roach nymph, U.S. health officials said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said inspectors with the agency's Vessel Sanitation Program gave the 2,056-passenger ship a score of 84. Anything below 86 is considered unacceptable, the CDC said on its website. The CDC conducts surprise inspections twice each year on cruise ships that dock at U.S. ports. Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said it is rare for a Carnival ship t…

Lozman Wins Again! The Floating Home's Legacy Continues...

I have blogged on this case several times and after his U.S. Supreme Court win two months ago, Fane Lozman has won another victory before the U.S. Circuit Court for the Eleventh Circuit in Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Docket No. 11-15448 (Restani, J.).   Fane Lozman with his dog Lady in front of his houseboat at the Riviera Beach Marina (2006 Palm Beach Post file photo) Lozman appealed from the district court's dismissal of his amended complaint asserting, inter alia, violations of his Constitutional rights, based on the Rooker-Feldman doctrine and res judicata principles. At issue was the preclusive effect of a prior state court eviction action initiated by the City against Lozman. The court concluded that the state court proceedings as to the First Amendment issues raised in the second amended counterclaim did not end prior to the commencement of the federal action and therefore, Rooker-Feldman did not divest the court of jurisdiction, regardless of whether the claims raised i…

ReThink + ReUse Center Play Date for the Whole Family!

As you may be aware, I am the Chair of the ReThink + Reuse Center, an educational and environmental non-profit. The Center relies on funding from The Children’s Trust and from the community at large.

 My daughter and I at the last ReThink + ReUse Center event in 2012
I am posting this blog because on Sunday, April 28th from 1 to 3 pm, the ReThink + ReUse Center is having its annual play date!  They will have lots of creative and fun activities for the whole family.  There will be a snack area with juices, fruit, and cheese with beer and soda for adults. If you are interested in attending, please feel free to sign up at, or feel free to let me know if you have any questions at

I hope to see your family there!