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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


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


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.


U.S. Supreme Court Declines Exxon Mobil Appeal

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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)


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.


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


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


Canada: No Liability for Extended Detention

The Federal Court of Appeals (FCA) of Canada ruled that the government is not liable for the extended detention of a ship based on an allegedly negligent port state control (PSC) inspection. In the instant case, a Canadian PSC boarding officer determined after a somewhat cursory inspection that certain frames on the foreign ship were excessively wasted and must be replaced before the ship could depart port. The trial court determined that the detention was not in accordance with


Repsol Could Drill off Canary Islands in October

Spanish oil company Repsol could begin prospecting for its $7-billion oil exploration project off the Canary Islands in October, Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said on Tuesday. Spain's Supreme Court last month rejected environmental appeals against 2012 government permits granted for oil


Zim Line Debt Restructuring Plan to Proceed

Zim container ship in terminal: Photo Zim Line

Israel's Finance Ministry and Israel Corp have reached a compromise regarding the government's "golden share" in the country's biggest shipping company Zim, paving the way for a $3 billion debt restructuring plan to move ahead. The government last week appealed an Israeli court ruling


Iran Oil Tanker Firm Still Faces Sanctions

Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC will struggle for some time to call at European ports, get foreign insurance and overcome obstacles under western sanctions, even after a top court has annulled its blacklisted status in the European Union.


Tesoro Refining Wins 2011 Long Beach Oil Spill Case

Robert S. Crowder: Photo FF&S

Freeman Freeman & Smiley say that its lead trial attorney  Robert S. Crowder (assisted by attorneys Russell R. Fisk and John D. Van Ackeren) have celebrated a win with their client, Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC in a lawsuit filed by Plaintiffs North of England Protecting


Israeli gov't appeals court ruling on Zim in feud over debt deal

Israel's Finance Ministry said on Monday it appealed a court ruling that chipped away at its golden share in the country's biggest shipping company Zim, a move that could further delay a $3 billion debt restructuring plan. An Israeli court ruled last week the government could keep its golden


Philippine Legal 'Garnishment' Heightens Shipowner Concerns

Safety at work: File photo

'Garnishment' is the legal term relating to the collection of a monetary judgement on behalf of a claimant from a defendant. In the Philippines, this routinely occurs before the case has concluded and is central to the UK P&I Club Members' many concerns relating to crew claims in this


Spain Gives Go-ahead to Canary Islands Drilling

Spain's Supreme Court approved on Tuesday a $7-billion oil exploration project off the Canary Islands, clearing one of the final hurdles for oil company Repsol to begin drilling within months. In 2012, Spain's government granted permits for hydrocarbon exploration off the coasts of the


Shell Offers $51M to Settle Nigeria Oil Spills

Royal Dutch Shell is ready to pay up to 30 million pounds ($51 million) in compensation for two oil spills in Nigeria in 2008 after a London court rejected a larger claim, sources involved in the case said on Friday. Around 11,000 residents of the Bodo community in the Niger Delta represented


BP Tries Again to Sidestep GoM Spill Payments

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BP Plc has asked U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to allow the company to avoid making payments to businesses demanding compensation for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill while litigation continues. The company acted after the New Orleans-based 5th U.S


Oceanteam Dips Toe in Mexican Offshore Market

Image credit Oceanteam

Norway-based Offshore shipping company, Oceanteam Shipping ASA, highlights results in the first quarter of 2014 and draws attention to a Mexico J/V  with PEMEX. Revenue from operations USD 15.1 million for the quarter. EBITDA from operations is positive USD 6


BP to Appeal Gulf Oil Spill Damages Ruling

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BP Plc on Wednesday said it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a court ruling concerning the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which forces the company to pay some businesses for economic damages without the businesses having to prove the spill caused their losses.  


Appeals Court Not to Revisit BP Oil Spill Compensation Decision

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A U.S. appeals court will not revisit a decision to reject BP Plc's bid to block businesses from recovering money over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, even if those businesses could not trace their economic losses to the disaster. The 5th U.S


To Litigate, or Arbitrate? That is the Question

More than once, I have been asked to resolve a dispute in which my client was surprised to learn either that it could not force the other side into arbitration, or that arbitration was very different from its expectations.  Many companies devote hours (if not weeks and months) to


Chevron Wins A Round In U.S. Suit - Ecuador Case

Chevron

  A federal judge on Friday rejected a bid by a U.S. lawyer to stall the enforcement of a ruling that found he used fraud to secure a $9.5 billion pollution judgment against Chevron Corp in Ecuador. Lawyer Steven Donziger is appealing a 500-page decision issued by U


Court: Japan's Mitsui Paid to Release Ship

A MOL Handymax bulker, Zebra Wind. Photo: MOL.com

China Supreme Court says Mitsui pays about $29 mln; Ship released about 0030 GMT Thursday. Ship was seized over dispute dating back to 1930s. Advisor to plaintiffs says will likely demand more money. Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd paid about $29 million for the release of a ship seized by






 
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