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Showing posts from August, 2013

Maritime Law: Save Florida Keys Fishing!!!

Since I was away for vacation earlier this month, I am now trying to play "blogging catch-up". Apologies to my regular readers if you begin receiving too much content at one time--I cannot control when Blogger disseminates my postings after they are published.

However, there is one very important development that has occurred while I was away and is near and dear to all of us that fish the beautiful waters of the Florida Keys. A reportedly "anti-fishing" group called Ecosystem Protection Working Group ("EPWG") have made recommendations to increase the areas of the Florida Keys that are protected from fishing. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary ("FKNMS") is already one of the largest marine protected areas ("MPAs") in the country. The FKNMS MPA currently measures approximately 496 million square yards of ocean and reef.

EPWG is recommending that authorities expand the MPA by another 310 million square yards of ocean and reef. Th…

Maritime Law: Limited Subject Matter Arbitration Clauses Do Not Avoid Arbitrability Disputes

Lately, I have been seeing contracts containing arbitration clauses that apply to only certain types of disputes. In the latest case I was asked to consult on, this proved to be initially disastrous. Luckily, the parties were willing to work through the dispute (because they were currently negotiating a joint venture) and I helped (in a small way) to guide them through what was initially a potentially disastrous situation. It has been my experience with arbitration clauses that if the parties want arbitration for certain issues, they are well advised to consider arbitration for all of them.

A typical limited subject matter arbitration clause might read as follows: “Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract or the breach thereof that concerns [regulatory issues, tax obligations, etc.] shall be resolved by binding arbitration.” The thinking behind this type of clause is that it is worth sacrificing the protections of full-blown litigation—including robust disc…

$2.5M Grant for South Florida Transportation Infrastructure

Governor Rick Scott has announced a $2.5 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation for transportation infrastructure at the South Florida Logistics Center. The center is north of Miami International Airport and along with air cargoes, will also handle cargo from South Florida ports.  The grant will help develop the 400-acre intermodal center with air, rail and trucking links, access roads to FEC's Hialeah rail yard, truck loading ramps and internal traffic circulation. The Governor has announced that the grant will generate more than 1,000 jobs. It is gratifying that the Governor has shown his commitment to ensuring good transportation projects in  South Florida.  The center is being built by Coral Gables-based Florida East Coast Industries Inc., one of the state's largest commercial real estate and railway companies. Chris Scott, president and CEO of FEC subsidiary South Florida Logistics Services, said in commenting on the center that construction of the …

Maritime Law: First Cruise Line to Meet MLC 2006 Requirements (English/Spanish)

NCL is reportedly the first major cruise operator to comply with the International Labor Organization's Maritime Labor Convention of 2006 ("MLC"), otherwise known as the international "bill of rights" for seafarers. The MLC is due to take effect later this month on August 20th. The MLC establishes comprehensive workplace rights and protections for more than 1.2 million seafarers worldwide. That includes more than 17,000 crew members from nearly 100 countries that work aboard NCL's 11 international cruise ships, NCL said Wednesday and reported by the Sun Sentinel. The MLC outlines a wide range of seafarer rights including wages, conditions of employment, accommodation, medical care and shore leave. It is intended to be applied globally, be easily understood and updated, and uniformly enforced. It consolidated and updated more than 68 international maritime labor policies adopted over the last 80 years. I have written on the MLC extensively in this blog and …