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Commentary: Answering those maritime law questions

   The Practising Law Institute has published the Maritime Law Answer Book, written by Charlie Papavizas and H. Allen Black. Both are partners at the Washington office of the law firm Winston & Strawn.

   In their preface, the authors say their aim was to write a book that would be handy for both lawyers and non-lawyers alike, employing a question-and-answer format that the institute has used in a score of titles.

   The book is organized toward basic communities that come into contact with maritime law—vessel owners, to bankers and cargo shippers.

   The book concentrates on U.S. law and practice. So, for example, there are chapters on cabotage law under the Jones Act, government support for shipping such as the Title XI loan guarantee program, taxes, and personal injury law for U.S. mariners.

   The book is up to date. For example, there are references on whether a security team member for a Red Sea transit is a seaman (the answer: no), the 2010 executive order issued by President Obama declaring the U.S. government will seize ransom payments to certain heads of Somali pirate gangs, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s vessel general permit that went into effect on Dec. 19, 2013.

   Clear and concise, we expect to find the book very useful for years to come.

This article was published in the May 2014 issue of American Shipper.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.