Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Now that the acts of terrorism in Boston have been solved - up to a point anyway - the legal arguments have started.  All the talking heads on TV are expounding their opinions on what should be done.  None of them of course are directly involved in the investigation and build their pontificating on "sources" which in the case of one TV Network last week turned out to be entirely wrong.  In fact that error by the Network and its "source" may, from one point of view, have been a contributing factor leading to the death of a police officer and the serious wounding of another.  The language used by these talking heads is "legalese" or the selection of and playing with words based on legal maneuvering to build a case.

In 'My Blog List' we have a link to the website of a local Miami maritime lawyer.  Some readers find his continued, very petty on many occasions, Posts most annoying reporting every negative trivial item from cruise vessels.  We wrote about that in a previous Post 'Cry Wolf' and NAUTICAL LOG has been asked why do we have this link.  When we first saw and read it we decided it was a good example of how incredibly childish lawyers can be to make their points.  To them it is all a game conducted in the legalese language.  They are not stupid and are building an approach and setting a tone before asking questions in Court to which of course they already know the answers.

An example of setting this tone is a Post entitled "Celebrity crew member arrested for cruise ship theft" which you can read for yourselves.  In this Post he states "The FBI will not even respond to reports of cruise ship thefts under $10,000.00"  The key here is the usage of the word "even".   This gives an impression that the FBI are not interested in responding when the facts are this is a parameter of Federal Law governing the behaviour of the FBI. 

Now as he and NAUTICAL LOG both know there are several parameters which come into play here.  First U.S. Federal Law forbids taking $10,000.00 out of or into this country without reporting it, so it appears one can take $9,999.99 but not $10,000.00 which may activate an FBI Inquiry.  Secondly on the stern (back) of a vessel is a flag and a name, these are the Flag State and Port of Registry of that vessel.  Once one steps aboard the vessel, regardless of where it is docked, one is in the Flag State's country and its National Laws apply to all persons on board.   International  Diplomatic Procedures then come into play if law enforcement agencies are going to board the vessel for law enforcement reasons.  This same lawyer, if it suited his case, would be the first to jump all over a boarding by a U.S. law enforcement agency on a non-U.S. Flag State vessel.

In our years in passenger vessels NAUTICAL LOG has found the FBI and other U.S. Agencies very courteous, knowledgeable of these Rules and helpful.  In fact an FBI Agent was the one who explained these parameters to NAUTICAL LOG when we first started sailing in South Florida based cruise vessels in the 1960's.

We shall of course continue to publish the lawyers website referred to in this Post as it is an indication of how maritime lawyers behave towards cruise lines, their crews, their vessels and most importantly their clients.  Should one find the need to hire one of these persons it is most definitely a case of Caveat Emptor - let the buyer beware.

Good Watch.

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