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Tag Archives: Maritime law

David Skeen Joins Mediation Network

David Skeen has joined the Mediation Network on Mediation.com in an effort to expand his presence within the online community of certified mediation attorneys.

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Origins and Characteristics of Navigation and Trading Warranties

Trading Warranties (also called Navigation limits) can be found in almost every marine insurance policy. A typical yacht policy navigation warranty states: “This policy provides coverage when the ‘insured yacht’ is being used or navigated within navigation limits specified on the Declarations page. There is no coverage under this policy if the ‘insured yacht’ is being used or navigated outside the navigation limits specified on the Declarations page.” The Declarations page may then provide certain route restrictions (e.g., remain in inland waterways), may specify areas to be avoided during hurricane season, or may limit how far offshore the vessel may go before “sailing out of coverage.”

Marine Insurance and the Doctrine of Uberrimae Fidei

While Latin is often referred to as a “dead language” it is still alive and well in the ancient principles of marine insurance. In particular, the doctrine of uberrimae fidei still lives on. When translated, this Latin phrase refers to the duty of “utmost good faith and fair dealing.” This is the duty owed by a vessel owner to a marine insurer whenever he applies for a policy of marine insurance.

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“Special Compensation” Saves the Day: Salvage of the F/V Lindsey Jeanette

In my Article in the June/July 1999 issue of this Newsletter I discussed the “Special Compensation” that is now available under the Salvage Convention of 1989 (adopted in the U.S. in 1996). “Special Compensation” is available to salvors under circumstances in which there exists a threat of damage to the environment. A salvor may receive “Special Compensation” even though its salvage efforts are unsuccessful or when the value of the salvaged property is insufficient to fully fund a salvage reward.

Next, in my November/December article, I reviewed how “more liberal” awards to professional salvors are still available under Article 13 of SALCON 89.

These concepts have been validated in a recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, which reinforces the idea that a salvor should be fully compensated for both his salvage efforts and his efforts to protect the environment.

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Co-Salvage: How to Slice the Pie

In many cases salvage operations are a cooperative venture conducted by more than one Salvor. Salvors may work together at the same time or may work consecutively toward their ultimate goal of salving property and minimizing damage to the environment. Co-salvage situations most commonly occur near busy harbors or other places where salvage assets are more closely concentrated.

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Minimizing Liability in Towing Contracts: How Low Can You Go?

Contrary to popular belief, a contract of marine towage does not create a bailment. Case law has long established that he owner of the boat being towed is not a bailor, and the towboat operator is not a bailee.

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Obtaining Security for Your Salvage Claim

Now that you have successfully saved a vessel from almost certain destruction by a marine peril, what do you do next? More importantly, how will you ensure that funds will be available to pay your salvage claim? These age-old questions still pose significant challenges to salvors and their attorneys today.

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Salvage Lien Characteristics

The scope and characteristics of the salvage lien are often misunderstood. Hopefully this article will shed some light on this complex legal concept, which underlies virtually all claims for a salvage reward.

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Life Salvage: Added Incentive to Save Life at Sea

The concept of “Life Salvage” is one of the most confusing principles of salvage law. Hopefully this short article will cast aside some of that confusion and clarify the concept.

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Pitfalls in Marine Casualty Reporting

If you hold a Captain´s license, you may want to pay close attention to this article. The U.S. Coast Guard has recently exhibited what can only be described as a “zero tolerance” policy toward licensed mariners who fail to promptly notify the Coast Guard of “reportable marine casualties” – regardless of how minor or trivial an experienced mariner may consider the incident. If it comes to the attention of the Coast Guard that a licensed mariner has failed to give timely notice of a “reportable marine casualty,” action against his or her license is quite likely to result.

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