Mainbrace: June 2017 (No. 3)


To read the full text of the articles in the June 2017 edition of Mainbrace, please download the PDF.

Note from the Maritime Industry Team
by Keith B. Letourneau

Welcome to the summer 2017 edition of Mainbrace. To say we live in interesting times would be a serious understatement. We read headlines on a daily basis that challenge traditionally accepted notions of how governments operate, creating uncertainty as to how they will do so in the future. (Read more)

What’s Next? The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Withdrawal of Its Jones Act Proposal Relating to Equipment of a Vessel
by Jonathan K. Waldron, Matthew J. Thomas, and Patricia M. O’Neill

In the last days of the Obama administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) proposed a major change in coastwise policy in its Proposed Modification and Revocation of Ruling Letters Relating to Customs Application of the Jones Act to the Transportation of Certain Merchandise and Equipment Between Coastwise Points (the “Notice”). (Read more)

Collection of Evidence in the U.S. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1782 for Use in Foreign Private Arbitrations
by W. Cameron Beard and Lauren B. Wilgus

Critical evidence, needed for the resolution of a dispute abroad, may be located in the United States. A key witness may reside in the United States, or important financial or other documentary evidence may be found only in this country. As we have discussed in previous articles, section 1782 of the United States Code offers a powerful tool for the collection of evidence in the United States for use in foreign legal proceedings. (Read more)

Understanding the U.S. Anti-Boycott Provisions
by George T. Boggs and Stefanos N. Roulakis

Question: I have to certify that my subsidiary that owns a vessel is not on the Arab League’s boycott blacklist. Can I do that? Answer: If you are subject to the U.S. anti-boycott rules, the answer is “no,” but your subsidiary can provide the certification for itself. (Read more)

A Seaman’s Claim for Punitive Damages: The Gray Area between the Jones Act and General Maritime Law
by William R. Bennett III and Alexandra Clark

A recent state court decision highlights a division among state, district, and circuit courts on the availability of punitive damages for general maritime law claims. In a unanimous opinion, the Washington State Supreme Court in Tabingo v. American Triumph LLV ruled that punitive damages are recoverable by seaman with a claim for unseaworthiness where the employer acts recklessly. (Read more)

The Global Anti-Corruption Corner: A Primer to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
by Shawn M. Wright, Carlos F. Ortiz, Mayling C. Blanco, and Ariel S. Glasner

Any company doing business abroad is subject to the long reach of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). Small or privately held companies, just like large or public companies, are subject to the criminal specter of the FCPA. The operative inquiry is whether the company is operating and/or transacting any type of business abroad with the government, government-owned entities, or involving foreign officials—either directly, through joint ventures, or indirectly, through agents. (Read more)

Congress Moving Full Steam Ahead on Coast Guard and Related Maritime Bills
by Joan M. Bondareff and Jonathan K. Waldron

Despite the continuing turmoil in Washington, D.C., over the Russian investigation into the Trump campaign, Congress is continuing to carry out its regular business of funding the federal government and authorizing agency programs. This article reviews the status of Coast Guard and related legislation, the FY 2017 final budget, and the proposed budget for FY 2018. (Read more)

The Future Is Now: Unmanned and Autonomous Surface Vessels and Their Impact on the Maritime Industry
by Alan M. Weigel and Sean T. Pribyl

Once thought to be a mere concept on the distant horizon, Unmanned Surface Vessels (“USVs”) are garnering increasing attention in the maritime industry as a means to cut costs, increase efficiency, and enhance safety. While some view USVs as more akin to futuristic science fiction, in reality, unmanned vessels are far from a novel concept. (Read more)

Chambers Global 2017 Ranks Blank Rome Attorneys and Shipping Litigation Practice

Chambers Global 2017 recognized Blank Rome LLP as a global leader in Shipping: Litigation, as well as Partners Anthony B. Haller and John D. Kimball for their industry knowledge and leading practices. (Read more)

Chambers USA 2017 Honors Blank Rome Maritime Attorneys and Practices

Blank Rome Maritime is pleased to announce that its attorneys and nationwide Shipping Litigation and Shipping Regulatory practices have been highly ranked in Chambers USA 2017, once again receiving recognition for being leaders in the maritime industry. (Read more)

Blank Rome Maritime Attorneys Recognized by Who’s Who Legal 2017

Who’s Who Legal 2017 has recognized Blank Rome’s maritime attorneys for their leading reputation and capabilities in the shipping and transportation industry. Nominees were selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. (Read more)

Blank Rome and Marshall Islands Registry Co-Host Seminar on U.S. Regulatory, Financial, and Political Issues Affecting Shipping

Marshall Islands Registry On Wednesday, April 26, Blank Rome and the Marshall Islands Registry co-hosted a maritime seminar in Athens, Greece, covering U.S. regulatory and enforcement issues, factors to consider in going public, and an update on the current political landscape in Washington, D.C. This successful event seminar drew in nearly 200 attendees, predominantly Greek shipowners, operators, and law firms. (Read more)

Blank Rome’s Kate Belmont Appointed as President of the WISTA New York/New Jersey Chapter

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Kate B. Belmont, an associate in the Firm’s maritime group, has been appointed as President of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association’s (“WISTA”) New York/New Jersey chapter. (Read more)

Blank Rome Attorneys and Practices Highly Ranked in The Legal 500 United States 2017

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that its practice groups and attorneys have been highly ranked and recommended in the The Legal 500 United States 2017. Rankings are determined by a team of experienced researchers at The Legal 500 who conduct in-depth research into the market as well as review submissions and information from the law firms themselves. (Read more)

Blank Rome’s Insurance Coverage Practice Recognized as The National Law Journal’s “D.C. Litigation Department of the Year”

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that the Firm’s Insurance Coverage practice group has been named a 2017 “D.C. Litigation Department of the Year” by The National Law Journal (“NLJ”). Each year, the NLJ takes the pulse of litigation departments in D.C.’s top law firms, taking into consideration their shops, including their biggest wins in 2016, their clients, and their opponents. (Read more)

© 2017 Blank Rome LLP. All rights reserved. Please contact Blank Rome for permission to reprint. Notice: The purpose of this update is to identify select developments that may be of interest to readers. The information contained herein is abridged and summarized from various sources, the accuracy and completeness of which cannot be assured. This update should not be construed as legal advice or opinion, and is not a substitute for the advice of counsel.