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Appeals Court

Appeals Court OKs Navy Use of Sonar

A federal appeals court on Friday said the U.S. Navy could use high-power sonar during exercises off the Southern California coast despite the technology's threat to whales and other marine mammals. A majority on a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said the Navy can use the high-power sonar in 11 planned training exercises in its reversal of a lower-court order banning the practice. Source: AP


Appeals Court Refuses to Close Chicago Locks To Deter Carp

On August 24, 2011, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit refused to issue a preliminary injunction to force the closure of locks on the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS).     The case stems from the controversy as to how best to prevent invasive Asian Carp from moving up the Mississippi/Illinois waterway system into Lake Michigan.  The state of Michigan and others sued the U.S


Court Strikes New Balance for Navy, Whales

The U.S. Navy can go ahead with training exercises this month using sonar off the California coast but should afterward implement new guidelines to protect whales, a U.S. appeals court said, according to a Reuters report. For years, U.S. courts have weighed the rights of whales to live undisturbed versus U.S. national security needs. The order of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was the latest effort to strike the right balance.


Portsmouth To Fight LNG

The Portsmouth Town Council has voted to allocate up to $25,000 for legal expenses to help fight a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in nearby Fall River, Mass., the third Rhode Island community to promise money to oppose the project, according to a report on www.turnto10.com. The $250 million Weaver's Cove Energy project was approved on June 30 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The FERC at that time rejected a proposal by KeySpan LNG to expand an LNG facility in


U.S. Supreme Court Declines Exxon Mobil Appeal

us supreme court.gif

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a ruling against Exxon Mobil Corp that ordered the company to pay $105 million in damages for polluting New York City's groundwater with a toxic gasoline additive. The decision not to hear the case leaves intact a July 2 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld the judgment. In 2009, a jury concluded that Exxon contaminated water supply wells when the additive, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE)


S.Korean Ferry C/E Overcome by Fear, Panic

The chief engineer of the doomed Sewol ferry who was jailed for 30 years for leaving behind two injured crewmates believed they were dead and had acted in "a state of extreme fear and panic," his lawyer told a South Korean appeals court on Tuesday. Defence lawyers for the 15 surviving crew members of the ferry that capsized last April, killing 304 people, have appealed their convictions that led to prison terms ranging from five to 36 years.


Ship Owner May Sue Injured Seaman

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a ship owner may assert a negligence and indemnity claim against its seaman-employee for property damage allegedly caused by the seaman’s negligence. In the instant case, plaintiff mate was injured when his ship collided with another ship. Plaintiff was on watch and in command of the ship at the time and allegedly left the wheelhouse in congested waters to attend to personal business


Divided Damages Following Collision

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the equal division of damages in a collision case where both vessels were at fault. In the instant case, an inbound tanker collided with an outbound dredge in the Houston Ship Channel. The trial court found both vessels to have been at fault and divided the damages equally. The tanker owner appealed, asserting that the primary cause of the collision was the steering failure on the dredge as the two vessels were about to pass


Reduction of attorney’s fee contract to protect seaman

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a court sitting in admiralty has inherent authority to alter a contingent fee contract for legal services entered into by an uncounseled seaman. In the instant case, plaintiff foreign seaman retained an attorney to represent him in a personal injury suit against the owner of a ship on which he was injured. The contingent fee contract called for recovery (assuming success in the litigation) by the attorney of all expenses and


US Top Court Upholds Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

Victory for Barack Obama

The U.S. Supreme Court handed President Barack Obama a victory on Tuesday by upholding a federal environmental regulation requiring some states to limit pollution that contributes to unhealthy air in neighboring states. By a 6-2 vote, the court said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acted reasonably in requiring 28 states to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which can lead to soot and smog.


Huffman Joins Blank Rome in Houston

Jay T. Huffman (Photo: Blank Rome)

Blank Rome LLP announced that Jay T. Huffman has joined the Firm as an associate in the Maritime, International Trade, and Public Contracts group. He is based in the Firm’s Houston office.    Huffman joins Blank Rome from Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams, L.L.P


Court: BP Employees Can't Be Charged Under Seaman's Manslaughter Law

   The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard)

  A federal court ruled on Wednesday that BP well site leaders on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig cannot be charged with seaman's manslaughter in the deaths of eleven workers that died during the 2010 rig explosion because they were not seamen.  


PGS Wins Patent Dispute with EMGS

Ramform Titan Courtesy Petroleum Geo-Services

  Oslo, Norway, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA informed today that Oslo District Court in its judgment of 13 February 2015 ruled in favor of PGS in the lawsuit filed by ElectroMagnetic GeoServices ASA ('EMGS') against PGS for patent infringement relating to PGS' Towed Streamer EM technology.


Panama Canal Case Headed to Arbitration

Picture Credit: Panama Canal Authority.

 The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) and the consortium building a third set of locks for the inter-oceanic waterway said in separate statements that they will take a dispute over cement quality to international arbitration.   The PCA has asked for an international arbitration panel to


Seychelles Anti-Piracy Exercise

Anti-Piracy exercise in progress in the Sychelles. (image: EUCAP Nestor and EU Naval Force)

On Thursday 8 January, a counter-piracy exercise was carried out jointly by the Seychelles Coast Guard, Air Force and Police together with the EU Naval Force Somalia – Operation Atalanta-, and the EU’s civilian maritime security capacity building Mission, EUCAP Nestor.


Battle Over Keystone XL Pipeline

Oil pipelines are safe and efficientf

  Nebraska's Supreme Court ruled against a challenge to the Keystone XL oil pipeline's route through the state on Friday, clearing the way for the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress to try to force President Barack Obama to approve the project.


BP, Anadarko Fail to Win Review of Gulf Spill Fines

  BP Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp narrowly failed to persuade a U.S appeals court to reconsider its 2014 ruling that they could face civil fines under federal pollution laws over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. By a 7-6 vote, the 5th U.S


Venice Lifts Ban on Large Cruise Ships

Photo courtesy of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri

Venice, Italy has overturned a ban on cruise ships over 96,000 gross tonnage from sailing through the city’s Giudecca channel and passing St. Mark’s Square.   Venice's regional court of appeal (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale) threw out the limit imposed in November 2014 for


EU Annulls Sanctions on 40 Shipping Firms

The European Union's second highest court on Thursday annulled EU sanctions on an Iranian bank and 40 shipping companies hit with asset freezes as part of pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme.   But they will remain under sanctions for now after the General Court gave the EU time


26-year Jail Term Sought for Concordia Master

Photo: The Parbuckling Project

An Italian prosecutor asked a court on Monday to sentence the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner to more than 26 years in jail for his role in the 2012 disaster that killed 32 people. Francesco Schettino was the commander of the vessel, a floating hotel as long as three football pitches


UK Court Rejects Iran Tanker Firm's Attempt to Avert Sanctions

A legal attempt by Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC to stop the European Union from reimposing sanctions on it over its disputed nuclear program has failed in a London court, setting back Tehran's efforts to ease trade restrictions. Iran is engaged in nuclear talks with world powers as it tries


Costa Concordia Captain Sentenced to 16 Years

Captain Francesco Schettino was sentenced to 16 years in prison after an Italian court found him guilty of  manslaughter today for his role in the 2012 sinking of the Costa Concordia. The 52-year old was captain of a cruise liner carrying 4


DOI Issues FSEIS for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193, moving the DOI a step closer to resolving federal court concerns regarding the 2008 oil and gas leases offshore Alaska


PGS Wins Patent Dispute with EMGS

Logo

  Petroleum Geo-Services ASA ('PGS' or the 'Company') today announces that Oslo District Court in its judgment of 13 February 2015 ruled in favor of PGS in the lawsuit filed by ElectroMagnetic GeoServices ASA ('EMGS') against PGS for patent infringement relating to PGS' Towed Streamer EM


EMGS to Appeal Ruling On Patent Invalidity

EMGS

  As previously announced, Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA (EMGS) has issued claims against Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) in the High Court of Justice, Patent Court, in London, UK, and in Norwegian courts on the basis that PGS used its Towed Streamer EM in the territory of the United Kingdom






 
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