Hunt & Associates P.C.

Sep 27, 2017

Are We Sinking the Jones Act?

US FlagAs a former merchant mariner, I continue to follow issues relating to the shipping industry in general with a particular interest as to matters touching on the survival of America’s merchant marine.  I was surprised to recently learn that Senator John McCain, a man whom I admire, has introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to repeal the Jones Act restrictions against foreign flag vessels carrying cargo between U.S. ports.  His bill, entitled the Open America’s Read more

Mar 13, 2017

Another Stab at Cargo Preference for the U.S. Merchant Marine

Cargo ShipThere are approximately 50,000 merchant ships engaged in international trade, transporting every kind of cargo.[1]  Fewer than 200 of those ships fly the American flag.[2]  What is left of the U.S. merchant marine is heavily dependent on cargo preference laws; i.e., federal statutes which mandate that shippers transport certain cargos on U.S. flag vessels.  For example, any military cargo shipped by sea must be carried in a U.S. flag ship.  Other laws mandate … Read more

Sep 16, 2015

A Lesson in Contract Negotiations: Be Willing to Walk Away

A number of years ago, I represented a shipping company which was negotiating to build new ships in a Chinese shipyard. My client had done its due diligence and was satisfied that the shipyard in question could build the ships it wanted at an acceptable price and deliver them in a timely fashion. For its part, the Chinese shipyard was eager to land this contract, as it would represent an expansion of its business to … Read more

Apr 15, 2015

Admiralty Law: An Overview

Admiralty or maritime law is that body of law which applies to waterborne commerce and events which take place on the navigable waters, i.e., the high seas, territorial waters, harbors, rivers and inland waterways, including the Great Lakes. It is the law which governs vessels, navigation, seamen, the carriage of goods and passengers over water, marine insurance, maritime liens and salvage. It is generally, but not always, the province of the federal courts, by virtue … Read more

Feb 17, 2015

An Injured Seaman’s Rights under Admiralty Law

A seaman who suffers injury while engaged in the service of a vessel has legal remedies which are unavailable to any other worker. Unlike the typical shore-based employee, who is generally limited to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries occurring in the course and scope of his employment, an injured seaman has the following remedies available to him or her:

  1. Maintenance and cure;
  2. A claim against the vessel owner for the vessel’s “unseaworthiness”; and,
  3. A claim
Read more