Admiralty Litigation

Practice Points

What you need to know in a quick-to-read format. Find all of the Admiralty Litigation Committee's Practice Points in this archive.


Potential Liability of Structured Settlement Brokers
By Stephen R. Harris – February 25, 2021
The lines between plaintiff and defense broker have become increasingly blurred.


Is an Exculpatory Clause Valid and Enforceable under Maritime Law?
By David Y. Loh – November 23, 2020
An exploration of circuit splits on the issue.

Fourth Circuit Confirms Chinese Arbitration Award
By David Y. Loh – June 16, 2020
When dealing with foreign partners, you must be prepared to engage with that jurisdiction’s legal system.

U.S. Federal Maritime Commission Issues New Guidance on Demurrage and Detention Practices
By David Y. Loh – May 11, 2020
This rule was the result of many months of investigation and rulemaking on the part of the FMC.

Fourth Circuit Affirms Remand of Climate Change Lawsuit Back to Maryland State Court
By David Y. Loh – April 3, 2020
The case is of public significance because many natural disasters are commonly attributed to climate change and few, if any, energy companies have been held responsible for the costs relating to climate change.

U.S. Coast Guard Announces Alternative COVID-19 Vessel Inspection Procedures
By David Y. Loh – April 3, 2020
A list of highlights from Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) Number 09-20.

Cruise Passengers’ Punitive Damage Claim Arising from “Bomb” Storm Is Dismissed
By David Y. Loh – February 25, 2020
A recent case demonstrates some of the limitations inherent in alleging punitive damages in the maritime context.

Libertad Act Found Inapplicable Against Norwegian Cruise Lines
By David Y. Loh – January 21, 2020
Other plaintiffs may yet be able to recover under this act.

Possibly Piercing Limitation of Liability
By David Y. Loh – January 14, 2020
A Labor Day 2019 boat fire resulting in 34 deaths will likely serve as a template for those interested in learning about how to litigate the typical limitation case.


Southern District of Florida Refuses to Enforce Arbitration Provision in AIG Insurance Policy
By David Y. Loh – November 4, 2019
The tragic case involves a passenger rendered quadriplegic after a zip line accident in St. Lucia.

Eleventh Circuit Reverses to Restore Jones Act Seaman Suit in Southern District of Florida
By David Y. Loh – October 25, 2019
A luxury yacht employee is injured during a tender vessel sea trial. Or was she taking the tender on a joyride?

Missouri Appellate Court Restores Suit against Kansas City Southern
By David Y. Loh – October 22, 2019
The case involves a collision between a bus filled with Mexican nationals and a train at a railroad crossing in Mexico.

Massachusetts Federal District Judge Orders DoorDash Driver to Arbitrate
By David Y. Loh – October 9, 2019
The district court concluded that DoorDash drivers are not transportation worker exempted under Section 1 of the FAA.

Hawaii Federal District Judge Denies Motion to Compel Arbitration
By David Y. Loh – October 9, 2019
The case involves a U.S. shipbuilding company and a Singaporean marine civil engineering company.

FMC Seeks Comments on Demurrage and Detention Rules
By David Y. Loh – September 23, 2019
This notice arose from a complaint filed with the FMC by a group of trade associations representing various importers, exporters, drayage providers, freight forwarders, customs brokers and third-party logistics providers who sought better demurrage practices.

What Is the Wayback Machine?
By David Y. Loh – September 10, 2019
The website archive has the capability of challenging the credibility of a witness on cross-examination.

Southern District of Florida Upholds Unavailability of Punitive Damages in Maritime Personal Injury Actions
By David Y. Loh – August 30, 2019
The case involves an Arizona family's allegations of sexual assault on an 11-year-old cruise chip passenger.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Class-Wide Arbitration
By David Y. Loh – May 6, 2019
SCOTUS rules that it this form of arbitration is only available when clearly set forth in a contract.

Federal Preemption Upheld in Dismissal of Lawsuit Filed against Car Carriers in New Jersey State Court
By David Y. Loh – April 26, 2019
It remains to be seen if MBUSA will appeal this decision, but federal preemption will be a difficult hurdle to overcome.

Federal Court in California Confirmed Chinese Arbitration Award
By David Y. Loh – April 26, 2019
It remains to be seen if MBUSA will appeal this decision, but federal preemption will be a difficult hurdle to overcome.

Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska Introduces Amendment to Death on High Seas Act
By David Y. Loh – April 22, 2019
It is likely the cruise industry and entrenched marine interest will lobby to block this bill from becoming law.

Second Circuit Refuses to Enforce Mandatory Arbitration Clause in Warranty Agreement
By David Y. Loh – March 11, 2019
This case is entirely consistent with traditional concepts in contract law, but the result is nevertheless surprising.


“Recycled Annuities” a Bad Alternative for Funding a Structured Settlement
By Stephen R. Harris – December 17, 2018
When considering a structured settlement, brokers, attorneys, judges, and settlement claimants are best served by a structure that is tax free and funded by a highly regulated and rated insurance company.

What Is a “Mary Carter” Agreement?
By Dave Y. Loh and William A. Lesser – November 9, 2018
Learn whether they are valid and enforceable and how they can be used to effectuate settlement.

Tips for Handling Letters Rogatory
By Alexander Selarnick – May 2, 2018
They may sound simple, but, in practice, they require careful attention to detail and can be time-consuming and costly.

How to Respond to a Trade War
By David Loh and Chris Raleigh – March 21, 2018
Contractual implications of the imposition of trade tariffs.

What Is a Maritime Contract?
By Douglas W. Truxillo – February 28, 2018
Fifth Circuit en banc decision clarifies, simplifies and mystifies.


Third Circuit Reverses Rule Permitting Piecemeal Review of Seafarer’s CBAs
By Raz Barnea – December 21, 2017
Tips from the Joyce decision, for labor attorneys and attorneys for shipping employers alike.

Suicide Attempt Compensable under the LHWCA
By Nicholas J. Cenac – November 30, 2017
The case arose from an accident in which a ship laborer fell from a barge to a dry dock landing on a steel floor.

Fifth Circuit Rules in Oil Pollution Act Case
By Phil Brickman – June 30, 2017
The court confirms that a responsible party under the OPA may recover purely economic losses from a jointly liable third party through contribution.

Three Tips for Stepping Outside of Your Jurisdiction
By Amanda Lorenz – April 30, 2017
Do yourself and your client a favor: Take the time to learn the rules.


Fifth Circuit Addresses Charterers’ Authority to Subject Vessel to Maritime Lien & Scope of Choice of Law Provision
By Phil Brickman – April 30, 2016
The case is World Fuel Services Singapore PTE, Ltd. v. M/V Bulk Juliana.

The COGSA $500 Package Limit Does Not Apply to On-Deck Cargo
By David Y. Loh – February 29, 2016
Practitioners should be aware of the specific wording of the ocean carrier’s bill of lading.

Admiralty Products Liability and the Economic Loss Doctrine
By Jody D. McCormack – January 29, 2016
What to do when the only damage is economic damage to the vessel itself.