AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION TORTS AND INSURANCE PRACTICE SECTION ADMIRALTY AND MARITIME LAW COMMITTEE Meeting Minutes May 19, 2012, 1:00 p.m. Charleston Place Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina In attendance: Christopher Nolan, Holland and Knight LLP, AMLC Chair Laurie Sands, Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP, AMLC Chair-Elect Jessica Martyn, Troutman Sanders LLP, AMLC Vice Chair Olivia Palmer, Charleston Law School, AMLC Vice Chair and Law School Liaison Ryan Tennet, Charleston Law School Alan Swimmer, National Maritime Services, Inc. Marygrace Schaeffer, DecisionQuest Brian Miller, Royston Rayzor Business meeting: Christopher Nolan opened the meeting with introductions of those in attendance and began the business meeting with a discussion of the Law Student Writing Competition. Writing Competition Laurie Sands advised that the AMLC had received 16 high quality entries for this year’s Competition - an increase over the approximately seven entries the AMLC received in the 2011 Competition. Sands attributed the increase in entries to the AMLC’s outreach to local law schools during ABA meetings and to individual AMLC member outreach to professors and law schools in members’ geographic areas. Competition application information was distributed in Fall 2011 and the entry deadline was April 6, 2012. Competition entrants were asked to submit an approximately 20 page paper, footnoted, discussing a “hot topic” in admiralty and maritime law. The winner will be selected prior to the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. The winning entry will be published in the AMLC Newsletter and the winner will receive $500.00 plus $500.00 towards his or her attendance at an ABA meeting. The AMLC will also attempt to find a forum for publishing the other higher quality Competition submissions. Newsletter The AMLC has established themes for individual Newsletters and published a special edition for the anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking. The Newsletter has also adopted a section, “Trade Talk”, featuring interviews with general counsel, discussing issues they encounter in the
maritime industry. Upcoming Newsletters will feature views on piracy and arguments for and against armed security aboard ships and arguments regarding what liability shipowners should bear for incidents arising from the use of armed security. The next newsletter will publish in July right before the ABA Annual meeting. Continuing Legal Education The AMLC is working on presenting a joint CLE program with the Maritime Law Association during the MLA fall meeting in New York, New York. The proposed CLE will feature a panel of Protection and Indemnity Club representatives, discussing legal issues they encounter. The AMLC and MLA, through the ABA/MLA liaison program, are working together to identify synergies and establish a robust collaborative relationship. The AMLC presented a webinar in November 2011 regarding North American Emissions Control Areas and partnered with West to provide admiralty content for West’s legal education website. In addition, the AMLC participated in the Safe Ports program at the ABA TIPS Fall meeting in Seattle, WA and West videotaped that program. The AMLC is considering a March 2013 Webinar CLE regarding maritime bankruptcy or Jones Act (cabotage) issues. Prospective focus for AMLC: Membership The AMLC will designate Vice Chairs to run specific projects. Membership building is currently a major focus for TIPS and the AMLC. To that end, the AMLC is focusing on increasing member involvement through Vice Chair positions and designated member roles. Over the past year, the AMLC has added 32 members and lost eight members. The AMLC is ranked seventh out of thirty-two TIPS committees in the number of members added. Christopher Nolan attributed some of that increase to international content and international authors published in the Newsletter. Such content may have contributed to the increase in membership among international attorneys. The AMLC supports its members adding content to the member page and contributing to the AMLC LinkedIn page. The AMLC will survey the membership to gauge member interest in certain events and CLE topics and will pursue partnerships with the ABA International Law Section. The AMLC will continue its regional outreach in conjunction with ABA meetings to improve the AMLC membership’s geographic diversity. AMLC Vice Chair, Raymond Waid, proposed that the AMLC identify a person of year to acknowledge the successes of committee members. The AMLC is considering the logistics for putting this recognition in place. AMLC events during ABA TIPS Charleston meeting
AMLC Vice Chair, Olivia Palmer, hosted a cocktail party for the AMLC and the Charleston admiralty bar at her family home on the Battery overlooking Fort Sumter in Downtown Charleston. It was very well attended by the local admiralty bar, ABA TIPS leadership, the AMLC, and Charleston School of Law students. The AMLC thanks Olivia Palmer and her family for their hospitality in hosting such an outstanding event. The AMLC presented a panel discussion to Charleston Law School students regarding the practice of admiralty and maritime law and a question and answer session to offer advice to law students hoping to practice in that area of law. Upcoming ABA/AMLC Meetings and Events The AMLC will continue to seek out opportunities to host dynamic events in conjunction with upcoming ABA meetings. During the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, August 2-6, 2012, the AMLC will not host a law school event because classes will not be in session. The AMLC will host an event with the Chicago admiralty bar and has invited Gavin O’Hare of CED Investigative Technologies, Inc. to address the AMLC during its business meeting on Saturday, August 4 at 7:30 am at the Sheraton Hotel, the local TIPS hotel during the conference. Registration is now open at: http://ambar.org/annual The AMLC’s Scope Statement will not be revised this year, but will be broadened next year. Industry Presentations Marygrace Schaeffer of DecisionQuest and Alan Swimmer of National Maritime Services, Inc. each presented to the AMLC, describing the services their respective companies offer. DecisionQuest is a TIPS sponsor that offers trial consulting and research services, legal graphics and courtroom technology, ADR strategic consulting, jury testing, and online jury research tools. Arbitration is a new key focus. Additional information is available at: http:// www.decisionquest.com National Maritime Services, Inc. handles the seizure, recovery, arrest, and custody of commercial and pleasure vessels and aircraft. NMS’s affiliate, National Liquidators, has handled thousands of pleasure vessel recoveries and liquidations of those assets. Additional information is available at: http://www.vesselarrest.com/index.php The AMLC thanks Ms. Schaeffer and Mr. Swimmer for joining us at our business meeting and for their presentations to the Committee.
* * * Special thanks to Vice Chair Jessica Martyn for preparing these comprehensive minutes.