Mainbrace: March 2017 (No. 2)


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

A Note from the Chair
by John D. Kimball

What’s different about “change” in 2017? It certainly seems that we need to redefine what we mean when we consider the term itself. Shipping historically has been a conservative industry, but its adaptability over the long haul has been proven time and time again. Some sectors of the industry will be coming to this year’s CMA Shipping 2017 conference with a more buoyant step than we have seen in recent memory, and for good reason. (Read more)

Ballast Water Management: Latest Developments and More Things You Should Know
by Jeanne M. Grasso

As briefly described in my recent January Mainbrace article, ballast water management has been one of the most challenging and oftentimes frustrating regulatory issues of the past decade. The principal reason is that the inter­national regime under the International Maritime Organization’s (“IMO”) Convention on the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (“Convention”), and the U.S. regime under the National Invasive Species Act (“NISA”), are not quite in sync when it comes to approving equipment to meet the standards set forth in the Convention and the U.S. Coast Guard’s (“USCG”) NISA regulations. (Read more)

Blank Rome Is Proud to Sponsor and Present at CMA Shipping 2017

Blank Rome LLP is proud to be a sponsor of CMA Shipping 2017, and honors CMA’s annual tradition of bringing together the international shipping community in North America’s leading commercial shipping center to discuss critical industry topics, trends, and updates. Please join Blank Rome Partner Matt Thomas as he presents on “The Impact on Shipping of the Trump Administration” during the “Market Opportunities in the Time of Donald Trump and BREXIT” breakout session, on Tuesday, March 21. (Read more)

Blockchain Technology: Securing and Transforming Commercial Transactions, and Its Implications for Maritime Trade
by Keith B. Letourneau

A recent news article about an oil commodities transaction sparked considerable interest in the maritime transportation sector when worldwide commodities trader Mercuria announced it would employ “blockchain” technology to carry it out. Previously, blockchain technology served as the foundation to secure bitcoin transactions. Now, this technology promises to supersede hundreds of years of maritime commercial practice by replacing bills of lading and attendant transactional documents and substituting a secure online mechanism to buy and sell goods. (Read more)

Concurrent Plenary Insolvency Proceedings: Additional Options for Cross-Border Reorganization and Liquidation
by Michael B. Schaedle and Bryan J. Hall

For the most part, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code formally and specifically deals with cross-border cases through chapter 15, a statute based on the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency promulgated by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) in 1997. The purpose of chapter 15 is to enhance cooperation between U.S. and foreign courts in connection with cross-border insolvencies to promote greater legal certainty for trade and investment, fairness, value optimization of a debtor’s assets, and the protection of investment and employment. (Read more)

Innovative Uses of Chapter 15: Energy Coal and Vneshprombank
by Michael B. Schaedle and Rick Antonoff

Blank Rome has the distinction of representing the foreign representatives in two recent chapter 15 bankruptcy cases that broke new ground in U.S. law by being the first to recognize foreign insolvency proceedings under the newly revised insolvency law of Italy and a bank insolvency proceeding in Russia. (Read more)

Enforcement of Foreign Judgments and Foreign Arbitral Awards in the United States
by William R. Bennett III and Lauren B. Wilgus

Our clients regularly seek our assistance in recovering foreign arbitral awards and foreign judgments from debtors and/or their alleged alter egos in the United States. Each case has its unique facts that dictate the level of effort that we must make to bring about a successful outcome. For example, obtaining a recovery from an alleged alter ego may require a Rule B attachment followed by significant factual discovery, while obtaining a recovery from a debtor with assets and business connections in the United States may require less effort. (Read more)

Jeremy A. Herschaft Appointed 2017 Tulane Law School Distinguished Admiralty Practitioner-In-Residence

Blank Rome Partner Jeremy Herschaft has been appointed as the 2017 John E. Sims Distinguished Admiralty Practitioner-In-Residence at Tulane Law School, which has an internationally recognized maritime law program. He participated as practitioner-in-residence on March 14-16, 2017. (Read more)

U.S. Coast Guard Proposes Significant Updates to Marine Casualty Reporting Damage Thresholds
by Sean T. Pribyl and Jeanne M. Grasso

On January 23, 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that proposes to amend the monetary property damage threshold amounts for reporting a marine casualty and serious marine incident (“SMI”). Industry stakeholders should be aware of the significant changes in the NPRM, potentially easing the reporting burden. (Read more)

Your Vessel Just Discharged Oil in the Lone Star State...Have You Notified the Texas General Land Office?
by Jeremy A. Herschaft

When a marine pollution incident occurs in the United States, a vessel owner may find itself communicating with a myriad of federal and state response agencies, depending upon the size of the spill. If such an event occurs in Texas state waters, however, then one of the most important authorities that you will likely deal with is the Texas General Land Office (“TGLO”). (Read more)

Gulf Coast Update: Personal Jurisdiction Trend Continues to Favor the Defense
by David G. Meyer

Under U.S. law, personal jurisdiction is one of the fundamental aspects of a court’s ability to adjudicate a particular dispute, and it often plays a role in maritime cases, given the far-flung nature of the industry. In recent years, the trend in U.S. courts has been generally favorable to personal jurisdiction challenges. (Read more)

Sean T. Pribyl Presented with National Award by the Department of Justice

Blank Rome Associate Sean T. Pribyl received the 2016 Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (“OCDETF”) National Award, a team award presented by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to cooperative law enforcement and the OCDETF Program. (Read more)

Bridging the Gap: AMLC Launches Government Relations Initiative to Further Practice Area Understanding between Private and Government Counsel
by Sean T. Pribyl

The scenario is a familiar one to lawyers practicing in maritime and admiralty law—a frantic middle-of-the-night call, a shipboard emergency, and your client looking to you for answers in a high-stakes scenario that could amount to the beginning of a very bad day. It is in the critical moments that follow during which government and private counsel may come into contact with the other, and those moments may to some extent define the course of the investigation. (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.