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
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, discussed using predictive analytics to mon...
"We are an all-flash array storage provider but our focus has been on VM-aware storage specifically for virtualized applications," stated Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.