Read more about the article Case of the Day: SCL Basilisk v. Agribusiness United Savannah Logistics
The SCL Basilisk. Credit: elbwasser/MarineTraffic.com

Case of the Day: SCL Basilisk v. Agribusiness United Savannah Logistics

The case of the day is SCL Basilisk AG v. Agribusiness United Savannah Logistics LLC (11th Cir. 2017). SCL Basilisk AG chartered a ship, the SCL Basilisk, to Agribusiness United, which was to be used to carry grain from New Orleans to Portugal and Morocco. At Agribusiness’s request, Sonada Agro Limited (UK) LLC took Agribusiness’s place as charterer. Sonada issued a letter of indemnity (Agribusiness United was the guarantor) requiring Sonada to post security in case the ship was arrested or detained and to indemnify SCL Basilisk AG against damage. In fact, the ship was arrested in New Orleans for reasons that aren’t important to the case. Sonada was late in posting security, which caused SCL Basilisk AG nearly half a million dollars in damage. SCL therefore demanded arbitration in London.
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Case of the Day: United States v. Alarcon

USS Constitution with battle ensign
This is how we do it in Boston. Credit: US Navy.

The case of the day is United States v. Alarcon (S.D.N.Y. 2015). The US Coast Guard intercepted a small boat on the high seas approximately 280 miles from the coast of Ecuador. It found 600 kg of cocaine on board and charged the three Ecuadoran men on the boat, Javier Joaquin Alarcon Prado, Luis Armando Valencia Bautista, and Hector Valencia Bautista, with drug offenses under the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act. The defendants moved to dismiss the indictment.
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Case of the Day: Ministry of Oil of Iraq v. 1,032,212 Barrels of Crude Oil

The case of the day is Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq v. 1,032,212 Barrels of Crude Oil Aboard the United Kalavrvta (S.D. Tex. 2014). The Iraqi government’s view is that under Iraqi law, it owns all of Iraq’s plentiful oil. The independence-minded leaders of the Kurdistan region, however, have other ideas. According to Iraq, the Kurdish government had been illegally pumping crude and had illegally transported some of it to Turkey via a pipeline. Despite Iraq’s opposition, Turkey loaded the oil onto the United Kalavrvta, which then set sail for Galveston. Iraq claims that Kurdistan is guilty of conversion. It brought an action in admiralty against the oil, in rem, and against the Kurdish government, in personam. The judge, on the strength of Iraq’s allegation that the ship was or soon would be in Galveston, ordered the arrest of the cargo. However, the ship was still sixty miles out to sea, outside of the United States’s territorial waters. Kurdistan moved to vacate the seizure order.
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Case of the Day: Flame S.A. v. Freight Bulk Pte. Ltd.

The case of the day is Flame S.A. v. Freight Bulk Pte. Ltd. (4th Cir. 2014). Flame was a Swiss shipping and trading company. It entered into forward freight swap agreements with Industrial Carriers, a firm organized under an unspecified country’s law that did business in New York. “What’s a forward freight swap agreement,” I hear you ask? Here is a description from D’Amico Dry ltd. v. Primera Maritime (Hellas) Ltd., a recent Second Circuit case:
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Case of the Day: Asignacion v. Rickmers Genoa Schiffahrts

The case of the day is Asignacion v. Rickmers Genoa Schiffahrts (E.D. La. 2014). Lito Martinez Asignacion, a Philippine national, was employed by Rickmers Genoa Schiffahrts as a seaman aboard the M/V Rickmers Dalian, a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel. There was a written employment contract, entered into by Rickmers and by the Philippine government through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. The contract contained an arbitration provision requiring arbitration of disputes in the Philippines, and it provided that claims arising out of Asignacion’s employment would be governed by Philippines law.
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