Welcome!

News Feed Item

Vedder Price Issues Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision Regarding Maritime Jurisdiction

Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Fla. Ruling Raises New Questions and Leaves Others Unanswered

NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision today in the case of Fane Lozman v. The City of Riviera Beach, Fla. The court ruled 7-2 in favor of Fane Lozman, who argued that his floating home was not a vessel and therefore not subject to arrest under maritime law. The majority opinion authored by Justice Stephen Breyer concluded that not everything that floats is a "vessel" under federal maritime law, and that, from now on, a structure does not qualify as a vessel "unless a reasonable observer, looking to the [structure's] physical characteristics and activities, would consider it designed to a practical degree for carrying people or things over water."  The decision and its new articulation of the vessel-status test have far-reaching implications for not only those who own or reside in floating homes, but also for a range of industries dealing with maritime vessels and off-shore and near-shore floating structures, including the equipment finance, energy, insurance and marine supply industries.

Dissenting Justice Sonia Sotomayer, joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, largely agreed with key elements of the majority decision, such as the Court's express rejection of an owner's subjective intent as relevant to the vessel status inquiry and the rejection by the majority of what it viewed as the "if it floats, it's a vessel" ruling of the court below.  The dissent took issue, however, with the majority's new "reasonable observer" test for vessel status, likening it to the largely discredited "I know it when I see it" test for obscenity espoused nearly fifty years ago by Justice Potter Stewart.

Vedder Price has a longstanding U.S. and international maritime practice and has been involved in this case for over a year.  Its shareholders Francis X. Nolan, III and John C. Cleary submitted an amicus curiae brief in the case on behalf of The Maritime Law Association of the United States. While not for attribution to any of the firm's clients, Vedder Price offers these observations and insights about today's decision. These thoughts are wholly our own and not for attribution to the MLA.

Mr. Nolan is a member of Vedder's Global Transportation Finance practice and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Maritime Law Association and Chair of its Standing Committee on Marine Finance. Mr. Nolan stated, "By stating that a watercraft may pass in and out of 'vessel' status, today's decision left lingering questions, such as whether a permanently moored structure or vessel in layup remains a vessel for purposes of vessel documentation. This ambiguity has far-reaching implications for mortgage financing of ships and insurance of ships, as well as the status of the gaming industry's floating casinos and vessels in long term 'cold layup.' I would think this ruling would at least drive mortgage lenders to review and revise their loan covenants.  Also marina operators should be aware that if the 'reasonable observer' finds a floating structure not to be a vessel, the owner may enjoy special rights under local landlord and tenant law. The 'reasonable observer' standard is not the bright line we had hoped for."

John C. Cleary, Vedder Price Shareholder in the Litigation Practice Area, in response to the ruling stated: "The Court's new 'reasonable observer' test for vessel status draws upon past precedent and the facts presented in Lozman to provide practical guidance to the maritime community for future cases. It remains to be seen, however, whether the new test will achieve its intended objective of uniformity and clarity on this pivotal issue of maritime law and jurisdiction, or instead will give rise to threshold litigation of the meaning and application of the new vessel status test to particular facts."

Experts from Vedder Price are available to comment on the Supreme Court's decision and its implications.

About Vedder Price:

Vedder Price is a thriving general-practice law firm with a proud tradition of maintaining long-term relationships with its clients, many of whom have been with the firm since its founding in 1952. With approximately 275 attorneys and growing, Vedder Price serves clients of all sizes and in virtually all industries from offices in Chicago, New York, Washington, DC and London.

SOURCE Vedder Price

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Historically, some banking activities such as trading have been relying heavily on analytics and cutting edge algorithmic tools. The coming of age of powerful data analytics solutions combined with the development of intelligent algorithms have created new opportunities for financial institutions. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sebastien Meunier, Head of Digital for North America at Chappuis Halder & Co., will discuss how these tools can be leveraged to develop a lasting competitive advanta...
TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets. By creating abundant, high-quality editorial content across more than 140 highly targeted technology-specific websites, TechTarget attracts and nurtures communities of technology buyers researching their companies' information technology needs. By understanding these buyers' content consumption behaviors, TechTarget creates the purchase inte...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, will discuss some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and relate how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material will be delivered i...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...