Mainbrace: October 2018 (No. 3)

To read the full text of the articles in the October 2018 edition of Mainbrace, please download the PDF.


Note from the Vice Chair
by Jeanne M. Grasso

Happy fall! As the seasons change, so do the issues confronting the maritime industry...or not. Over the past few years, several topics have consistently remained in the headlines and as a thorn in the side of many shipowners. In the environmental arena, these issues have generally involved MARPOL enforcement, ballast water management, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Vessel General Permit, and air emissions in light of the upcoming International Maritime Organization’s 0.5-percent sulfur cap. Read More »

Impact of New U.S. Import Tariffs on the Maritime Industry
by Joan M. Bondareff and Matthew J. Thomas

President Trump, from his campaign through his time in office, has been a vocal supporter of U.S. manufacturing jobs and a critic of what he characterizes as unfair trade practices from traditional U.S. trading partners. This is one reason he withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and currently is renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. As we are putting this issue of Mainbrace to bed, the administration has announced the successful completion of a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, which is now called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Read More »

Enforcing and Challenging Maritime Arbitral Awards in the United States
by Thomas H. Belknap, Jr.

When we speak of maritime arbitral awards in the United States, we could mean one of three kinds: 1) “domestic” awards, 2) “non­domestic” awards, or 3) “foreign” awards. This distinction is important, because it controls what law applies to matters of recognition and enforcement. To understand the source and importance of these distinctions, we must start with the Federal Arbitration Act. Read More »

DOJ Urges U.S. Companies Acquiring or Merging with Foreign Companies to Self-Disclose FCPA Misconduct Identified during Due Diligence
by Carlos F. Ortiz, Shawn M. Wright, Mayling C. Blanco, and Alexandra Clark

In a keynote address at the Ninth Global Forum on Anti-Corruption Compliance in High Risk Markets, Matthew S. Miner, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Criminal Division, urged U.S. companies merging with or acquiring foreign targets to voluntarily disclose potential misconduct to the DOJ pursuant to the revised Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Corporate Enforcement Policy. Read More »

Enforcing Ipso Facto Clauses in International Transactions and the Importance of Being Proactive in Dealings with Troubled and Insolvent Entities
by Michael B. Schaedle and Gregory F. Vizza

A proactive creditor often ends up in a better legal position, and has more negotiating power, than a reactive one. While that may seem obvious, it is a lesson driven home by a 2017 decision in the SunEdison bankruptcy case, which involves issues of international comity, choice of law provisions, and ultimately, the tactics employed by a Korean debtor in connection with its contractual relationship with SunEdison. Read More »

Removal of Maritime Claims: Is There Still a Conflict?
by Noe S. Hamra

In the United States, state and federal courts operate on a dual track, with the difference that state courts are courts of “general jurisdiction” (i.e., hearing all cases not specifically reserved to federal courts), while federal courts are courts of “limited jurisdiction” (i.e., hearing cases involving “diversity of citizenship” or raising a “federal question”). In some cases, however, a defendant found in state court can transfer the case to federal court (also known as “removal”). Read More »

Congress Passes Major Maritime Safety Legislation but Fails to Fund a New Icebreaker or Pass Authorization for Most Coast Guard Programs
by Joan M. Bondareff, Jonathan K. Waldron, and Genevieve Cowan

This article provides an update on the status of several maritime-related bills pending with the 115th Congress as of October 3, 2018, and reviews one major marine safety law that passed Congress and is awaiting presidential signature. Read More »


Joan Bondareff Receives NAMEPA’s 2018 Marine Environment Protection Award

Joan M. Bondareff has been named the North American Marine Environment Protection Association’s (“NAMEPA”) 2018 Marine Environment Protection Individual Award winner in recognition of her lifetime career in working to protect the marine environment. Joan serves as general counsel and secretary of NAMEPA, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable practices for the shipping industry. Read More »

Kate Belmont Appointed to Port of NY/NJ and Port of Albany Area Maritime Security Committee’s Executive Steering Committee

Kate B. Belmont has been appointed to the Executive Steering Committee to the Port of New York/New Jersey and Port of Albany Area Maritime Security Committee, a community of port stakeholders with an interest in port security who regularly advise on maritime security issues. Read More »

Blank Rome Achieves Mansfield Certification, Presents New Edition of Perspectives

Blank Rome is proud to announce that our Firm has achieved Mansfield Certification after successfully completing Diversity Lab’s inaugural one-year Mansfield Rule pilot program.

We also welcome readers to our latest edition of Perspectives, Blank Rome’s diversity and inclusion newsletter that keeps you informed on our latest diversity news and provides insight on current diversity issues in the legal industry and beyond. Read More »

Blank Rome Maritime Safe Passage Blog

We invite our readers to dive into our archive of Mainbrace newsletters and maritime development advisories, as well as keep abeam with all of our current and upcoming analyses on trending maritime topics and legislation, in our Safe Passage blog. Read More »

© 2018 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.