Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2013

Maritime Law: Great Decision on Limits to USCG Authority on Bonds Gets Reversed

In Angelex Ltd. v. United States, Docket No. 13-1610 (4th Cir. Jul. 22, 2013), the government appealed the district court's order which altered the terms of a bond the Coast Guard had fixed for the release of a detained ship that was under investigation and restricted the types of penalties the government could seek for the ship's potential violations of certain ocean pollution prevention statutes. The ship at issue, M/V PAPPADAKIS, an ocean-going bulk cargo carrier carrying a shipment of coal to Brazil, was detained by the Coast Guard because the vessel had allegedly been discharging bilge water overboard. The appellate court reversed and remanded for dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), where the matter was not subject to review in the district court because the Coast Guard's actions were committed to agency discretion by law. Consequently, the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider the petition.

I have the original decision from the District …

Maritime Law: Allianz Joins List Of Too-Big-To-Fail Insurers

Along with AIG, Allianz SE, is now among nine insurers deemed systemically important by global financial rule makers, meaning they may face tougher capital standards and tighter regulation. The list of nine too-big-to-fail insurers, including MetLife and Prudential Financial in the U.S. and France's Axa SA, was published by the Financial Stability Board (the "FSB"), the Basel, Switzerland-based body set up by the Group of 20 nations. It is reported by the Daily Business Review on July 19th that the companies on the FSB list were included based on criteria such as size, global activity and the amount of non-insurance businesses they have.

The FSB, led by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, is coordinating global regulators' response to the last financial crisis to prevent a repeat of the turmoil that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings and the bailout of AIG. Also on the list are Prudential Plc and Aviva Plc of the UK, China's Ping An Insurance Grou…

Maritime Law: South Florida Sets Export Record

As reported in several papers, including the Daily Business Review on July 11, 2013, international trade through South Florida has surged. Merchandise exports in the region hit a record $47.9 billion in 2012. That represents an 11 percent ($4.7 billion) increase from 2011. South Florida has apparently not had to wait for the Panama Canal expansion to enjoy this surge in activity.
Top destinations included Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Switzerland and Venezuela. I personally am seeing a lot of business from Venezuela right now. South Florida was one of 32 metropolitan areas recording more than $10 billion in exports.

 If you interested in receiving a copy of the Daily Business Review report or are interested in contacting me, you may do so by email at

Maritime Law: FMC Proposes New Rules for OTIs--Have You Made Your Views Known?

On May 31, 2013, the United States Federal Maritime Commission ("FMC") issued proposed rulemaking, significantly affecting the licensing, financial responsibility and duties of Ocean Transportation Intermediaries ("OTI"). The rulemaking started a 60-day notice and comment period, ending July 31, 2013, during which affected or interested parties can provide feedback, objections and other comments to the proposed rule. The proposed new rules impose significant new conditions and alter the regulatory environment and risks for OTIs. Licensing Under current regulations, an OTI license is for an unlimited term. Under the proposed rules, OTI licenses would have to be renewed every two years. Renewal applications would have to be submitted at least 60 days prior to the expiration date, and would include Qualifying Individual (QI) identification and contact information along with changes to the OTI's business or organization, trade names, tariff publication, physical addr…

Maritime Law: Insurers Not Faring Well with Florida Supreme Court

The insurance industry may be feeling like it is taking a beating in the Florida Supreme Court lately.
In three different cases with very different circumstances, the Supreme Court justices ruled against insurance companies and in favor of policyholders and medical providers. The cases divided the court and, ultimately, all had financial implications for insurers and the other parties.
The first case involved a dispute between Geico and medical provider Virtual Imaging Services, Inc. regarding payments for magnetic-resonance imaging tests that were performed after Geico customer Maria Tirado was injured in an auto accident in 2008. Virtual Imaging sent a $3,600 bill to Geico under Tirado's personal injury protection ("PIP") coverage. But Geico, using a formula derived from Medicare fees, paid slightly less than $2,000, prompting a legal fight. The Supreme Court, in a 5-2 opinion, ruled in favor of Virtual Imaging because it said Geico had not disclosed in the policy that …

Maritime Law: 11th Circuit Keeps Costa Concordia Lawsuits In Miami-Dade Circuit Court

After Carnival's cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy, two separate actions were filed by groups of 56 and 48 plaintiffs in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida (our Miami state court). Carnival removed both actions to the federal district court, claiming that the district court had subject-matter jurisdiction under the mass-action provision of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA), Pub. L. 109-2, 119 Stat. 4. The Plaintiffs moved for remand to the state court on the ground that the district court lacked jurisdiction and the district court granted the motion. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Scimone v. Carnival Corp., Docket No. 13-12291 (Jul. 1, 2013) affirmed the federal district court, concluding that the cases were improvidently removed and should have been remanded where, under the plain language of CAFA and 28 U.S.C. 1332(d)(11), the district court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over plaintiff…