Tag Archives: Admiralty

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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