The Maritime Advocate–Issue 708



1. Procuring a Policy of Insurance
2. Understanding Arbitration
4. 70 Year Old Mystery of US Army Port Man’s Whiskey Bottle
5. Full Understand
6. People and Places

FOB Network News

During the rest of 2017 the Publishers are looking to raise some external finance in order to take our efforts to the next level by supporting more marketing and programming people.

Some FOB Groups already have sponsors – for example JLT (P&I), Bloomfield Law (West Africa Maritime), Chalos (Criminalisation). the Publishers are also looking for sponsors for existing Groups for example Hull & Machinery, Salvage, Piracy, Maritime Singapore/Cyprus/Norway, Superyachts, Surveyors and Major Casualty Investigation.

In addition there is plenty of scope for possible new Groups such as War Risks, Multi-Modal Insurance, Energy Insurance and many geographical areas eg Maritime New Zealand/Germany to name but a few.

1. Please join FOB, and

2. Let us know if you would like a quote for sponsoring a Group

1. Procuring a Policy of Insurance

The latest case note to reach us from Jason Minkin is J & M Pile Driving, LLC v. Chabert Insurance Agency, LLC, No. 2017-CA-0126, 2017 WL 4816909 (La. Ct. App. Oct. 25, 2017), which is a recent Louisiana case finding no liability on the part of an insurance agent for failing to procure marine insurance cover for a vessel even though the insurance application had been submitted for quote and the certificate of insurance issued to the policyholder. The authors of the note are Jason P. Minkin, Jonathan A. Cipriani and Katherine A. Martin

On September 21, 2010, the M/V Lil Cherie sank. The owner of the vessel was sure that it was insured under a P&I and hull insurance policy. But it wasn’t. The case is an important reminder that completing an insurance application does not mean that cover is bound, even where the agent issues a certificate of insurance.

The insurance agent procured P&I and hull cover for a barge owned by the client. The client subsequently purchased a second vessel which was added to the existing cover after the client received a quote and paid an additional premium. The client later purchased a third vessel, which is the subject of this dispute.

According to the client, it completed an insurance application with the agent for the third vessel. The agent submitted the client’s application to a marine insurance broker, who sent the application to its underwriter. The agent allegedly informed the client that the vessel would be an add-on to the existing cover and was insured after the application was submitted to the marine insurance broker.

The agent, however, offered a much different story. According to the agent, he never told the client the vessel was insured, that when a client requests marine insurance cover on a vessel, the client, such as the client here, must fill out an application which is then submitted to the underwriter for a premium quote. The agent explained that he did not have binding authority to quote the cover. He also explained that the quote would not be binding until received from underwriter and the premium is then paid. Here, it turns out the agent contacted the marine insurance broker several times between the date the application was completed and when the vessel sank in order to ask for an update on receiving the quote, but a quote was never received.

The trial court found that the agent did not advise the client that vessel was insured, that the agent processed the insurance application in a timely manner, and that the agent promptly sent the information to the underwriter for a quote, which is what he was obligated to do. The trial court concluded that the agent used reasonable diligence to procure cover for the vessel and did not breach his duty as an insurance agent despite the fact that he did not promptly notify the client that he failed to obtain insurance.

A 2-1 majority of the Louisiana appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision. The appellate court determined the agent was not responsible for the client’s losses based on a failure to use reasonable diligence to place the insurance or to promptly notify the client it failed to obtain the cover.

The client argued that it should be entitled to recover against the agent on a detrimental reliance theory because it relied on the agent’s alleged assurances that the vessel was insured. This argument was rejected by the appellate court as the court had already found that the agent did not tell the client that the vessel was insured, and the client was aware that without a quote and payment of premium, the vessel was not insured. The appellate court also found that the client could not have reasonably relied upon the certificate of insurance because the certificate, unlike the binder, contained a disclosure that it was issued for informational purposes only and did not amend, extend, or alter the policy’s coverage.

One of the appellate court justices, Judge Jewel Welch, disagreed with the majority’s decision. Judge Welch found compelling the fact that the agent failed to inform the client that he was unable to get an insurance quote, that he never informed the client it did not have cover, and issued certificates of insurance indicating the vessel was insured, when it was not. According to Judge Welch, an unsophisticated person would believe the vessel was insured and, as such, the agent should have been liable for the resulting losses.

The takeaways from the case are: (1) an application for insurances did not instantly bind the cover; (2) the client could not rely on the insurance application or certificate as evidence of cover; and (3) without a quote and payment, there was no justification to rely on the previous conduct of the agent.

2. Understanding Arbitration

Patricia Leahy of the Society of Maritime Arbitrators, Inc has sent in these details:-

The SMA will again offer its popular, comprehensive two day seminar:

Maritime Arbitration in New York

Dates: Thursday, March 1 and Friday, March 2, 2018

Location: “3 West Club” at 3 West 51st Street, New York, NY 10019
(Formerly Women’s National Republican Club across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in mid-town Manhattan).

This course is offered to help further and promote the fair, just, ethical and cost effective resolution of charter-party and other maritime contract disputes by arbitration in New York.

Jeffrey Weiss, Esq., Professor of Maritime Law at New York Maritime College, with over 30 years of college and graduate-level teaching experience, will again be the lead instructor.

This course will be especially valuable to business professionals who are users of the arbitration process from issues arising under their company’s contracts and charter parties. Attendees from shipowners, charterers, vessel operators, maritime claims adjusters, salvors, ship brokers, oil and chemical companies, insurers, traders and export/import companies should find the course an efficient way to gain an understanding of the current practices in New York maritime arbitration proceedings.

Attorneys: The course will also be uniquely beneficial to newly admitted maritime attorneys or lawyers with less than two years practice experience or those seeking a more comprehensive understanding of the process. The complete Program will qualify for up to 12 CLE credits (12 sessions) in “Areas of Professional Practice”.

Cost: $1,075.00
RSVP: Responses and payment due by 2/16/18

Patricia Leahy, SMA Office Manager

Send Payment to:
Society of Maritime Arbitrators, Inc.
157 New Hyde Park Road, Franklin Square, NY 11010


Marie Kelly, a Partner in the Norton Rose Fulbright London office is filmed here talking with Ian Gaunt, President of the London Maritime Arbitration Association (LMAA), about arbitrating under the LMAA Terms and recently introduced amendments to the LMAA Terms 2018.

The firm seems to have quite a good grip on the use of video.

4. 70 Year Old Mystery of US Army Port Man’s Whiskey Bottle

Our friend Eiichiro Tokumoto writes:-

Recently I had drink at the Hotel New Grand’s bar (Sea Guardian II) in Yokohama, west of Tokyo, and was told a story by the bar manager about a mysterious whiskey bottle discovered during renovations labled with the name McNamara.

Lt. Col. Eugene J. McNamara was an infantry officer working at the Second Major Port headquarters at Shinko Pier, which is now the site of Yokohama city’s Red Brick Warehouse shopping area.

McNamara lived along Yokohama’s harbor from the beginning of 1946 at the historic New Grand Hotel,which began extensive structural renovations last year, ahead of its 90th anniversary.

If not for the construction, McNamara’s name likely would have faded into history among the hundreds of thousands who served in Japan in the aftermath of World War II.

Shortly after the Shimizu Corp. began strengthening the hotel’s floors and ceiling last year to better withstand earthquakes, a worker found a glass bottle caked with dirt, nestled against an interior beam. There was a business card inside with the following hand-written note in English on the back: “Lived at Grand Hotel Yokohama from 1946-1948 Room 316-317.”

The bottle is now on display in the hotel’s lobby with other memorabilia and the hotel is hoping a family member of McNamara can be traced.

See the story here:-

5. Full Understand

We are always fascinated by the evolution of language employed by people from different countries to get through an international day. Courtesy of the Browser we ran across this piece by Matt Broomfield which appears in the New Statesman.It is about a new pidgin evolving among migrants on the Greek island of Lesvos awaiting entry into Europe:-

“Lesvos English is close to Aviation English used by pilots all over the globe. Any error must be identified with the word “correction”. Prepositions are stripped out, while call-and-response exchanges like understand?, yes understand and problem?, no problem litter every phone call, serving much the same purpose as Roger or Wilco (‘will comply’) in Aviation English”

6. People and Places

The Apostleship of the Sea is holding a Christmas Carol Service in London:-

Tuesday 12th December 2017 6.30pm
Church Of Our Lady of the Assumption
10 Warwick Street
London W1B 5LZ

This will be followed by mulled wine and minced pies in the Crypt.

All Avo Readers are invited.

Please email to confirm attendance:-


CMA CGM has announced that Jacques Saadé has passed the baton of the chairman’s role at the company to his son Rodolphe Saadé. The move reunites the positions of CEO and chairman, both of which Jacques Saadé had held until February when Rodolphe Saadé was appointed CEO


Dr. Michelle Corfield has been elected as the Chair of the Nanaimo Port Authority Board of Directors by acclamation following the resignation of Moira Jenkins earlier this week. Michelle is the Municipal Appointee on the Board, appointed by the City of Nanaimo in Canada on July 1, 2015.

From the Avo Archive

The website of this newsletter contains all the editorial material since the inception of the Maritime Advocate as a print based quarterly in 1997 under the founding aegis of John Guy, Chris Hewer and Manfred Arnold. Readers can go to the site and search the database on the home page in its entirety. If you are looking for an old case, an old controversy or you would just like to see how many times you and your firm have featured in our annals feel free to access the archive. It is like this e-zine, free to Readers and we always appreciate the support of advertisers and sponsors.

In searching for something interesting on Yokohama, we were rather diverted by the meandering comic progress of our former editor Chris Hewer in Issue 196 of March 15, 2005:-


SOMEBODY once said, “All life’s wisdom can be found in anagrams. Anagrams never lie”. She, or he, may well have been right. Anagrams are certainly a lot of fun. Of course, some words are simply not anagram-friendly. Try making an anagram out of ‘tryst’, for example.

Words with a good mixture of vowels and consonants are usually best. Take, for example, ‘englottogaster’, which is Olde English for ‘ventriloquist’. It is not an everyday word, but it is common parlance for cruciverbalists and will give you rotten goat legs.

If you are a fan of anagrams, and crosswords, you will enjoy Sandy Balfour’s book, ‘Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose (8)’. But if you can’t work out the anagram in the title, you might struggle.

Your editor’s favourite anagram, meanwhile, is ‘Found, dishevelled, in the classroom (12)’. Rarely does everything come together so neatly.

Measure of support

A READER who prefers to remain anonymous has emailed us with follow-up remarks on two subjects covered recently.

Of the debate over weights and measures, she says, “The French very properly ignore the whole matter. Although they have had kilograms since Napoleon, you can still buy goods by the pound (une livre) in markets. All right, so what you get is 500 grams, but it’s the principle of the thing. They also use the pleasingly variable measure of une louche (a ladleful) for things like olives or nuts. This is as quantifiable as the length of a piece of string.”

Turning to the cost of bringing up children, she notes, “Whatever happened to prams, secondhand or not? They didn’t figure in the budget at all, as far as I could see. Perhaps I didn’t read it carefully enough. What struck me was that anyone who could seriously contemplate spending £60 on bras, or £120 if you added the pre-natal ‘maternity bra’ (what’s that?– most of us muddled along in our old M&S foundation garments), cannot be heard to complain about expense.”

Thank you, Ann.

Coping saw

A STUDY by somebody has found that men cope better than women with technology-based products. It is not clear, however, what it is they cope better WITH.


THE geographical awareness of schoolchildren around the world continues to give cause for concern. Here is a test paper from ‘And Now All This’, by W C Sellar and R J Yeatman, which should sort the men from the boys.

1. ‘East is east and west is west’. Show, by shading, if this is a fact or only a brilliant conjecture.

2. Mount Everest is 29,002 feet high. Do you consider this sufficient?

3. You are required to indicate, by a dot, the fifty largest towns and also the forty longest rivers in North America. Where would you put the dot?

4. If a line were drawn between Warsaw and Yokohama, would you be in favour of war with Japan?

5. At noon on October 21 show, by shading the eyes, how high the sun will be above the horizon (a) at the horizon and (b) at noon on October 21.

Directions Known and Unknown

Short film about “murmurations”: the mysterious flights of the Common Starling by filmmaker Jan van IJken. It is still unknown how the thousands of birds are able to fly in such dense swarms without colliding. Every night the starlings gather at dusk to perform their stunning air show.

One theory has it that in the flock individual birds initiate a move by repeatedly changing direction. They do it momentarily and return to their original course, then repeat it. If enough have “voted” the whole flock is prepared. Then as the next bird moves, all spontaneously follow.

International Understanding

A Mexican bandit made a specialty of crossing the Rio Grande from time to time and robbing banks in Texas. Finally, a reward was offered for his capture, and an enterprising Texas Ranger decided to track him down.

After a lengthy search, he traced the bandit to his favorite cantina, snuck up behind him, put his trusty six-shooter to the bandit’s head, and said, “You’re under arrest. Tell me where you hid the loot or I’ll blow your brains out.”

But the bandit didn’t speak English, and the Ranger didn’t speak Spanish. Fortunately, a bilingual lawyer was in the saloon and translated the Ranger’s message.

The terrified bandit blurted out, in Spanish, that the loot was buried under the oak tree in back of the cantina.

“What did he say?” asked the Ranger.

The lawyer answered, “He said Get lost, Gringo dog, you don’t have the guts shoot me.'”

[Paul Dixon]