Transportation Brief: Spotlight on The Firm’s Air and Ocean Practice
September 14, 2022
Freight forwarders that handle air and ocean cargo face a daunting set of legal hurdles at every turn. The Scopelitis Air and Ocean Practice helps clients navigate this often-uncertain legal environment by charting a course to success that aligns with the unique objectives of each business.
With respect to air cargo, our attorneys help businesses with:
- Start-up and licensing, including with TSA as an Indirect Air Carrier, CNS as an Agent, and DOT as a Foreign Air Freight Forwarder
- Legal compliance
- Commercial issues
- Disputes with counterparties, including shippers, airlines, and ground-handling agents
We have extensive experience with inspections and enforcement actions brought by TSA, the FAA, and other federal and state agencies concerning air transportation of hazardous materials. Our attorneys have defended over 75 TSA enforcement cases involving air-cargo violations, including cargo-screening violations with potential civil penalties totaling nine figures. We pursue a collaborative approach with the companies’ compliance team, working to identify the alleged violation’s root cause and implementing corrective actions that will win the support of the regulators.
As for ocean cargo, the Firm regularly counsels on the convoluted and sometimes archaic rules of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) that limit the ability of a party to arrange ocean transportation to or from the United States without a license or registration. These rules often go so far as to impact how rates and contract terms can be negotiated. It is an antiquated legal regime that requires published tariffs and limits freedom of contract. We are here to help make sense of these rules and to assist in drafting subsequent terms and conditions of service.
Companies may also face commercial disputes concerning ocean transportation, including disputes between sellers and buyers wherein the forwarder is “stuck in the middle” due to a stoppage in transit order. In addition, given the historic levels of port disruption, forwarders can find themselves in the middle of detention and demurrage disputes that may involve hundreds of thousands of dollars. We help companies proactively curtail risk and quickly resolve disputes to minimize business disruptions.
Scopelitis attorneys are involved in the unique challenges of the air and ocean forwarding industry regularly.
Contact Braden Core or Nathaniel Saylor to see how Scopelitis can help your business navigate this complex legal environment.
Transportation Brief: AB 5 Petition Denied by U.S. Supreme Court
by Shannon M. Cohen , Gregory M. Feary , Prasad SharmaOn June 30, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court refused the California Trucking Association’s (CTA) appeal to maintain an injunction prohibiting enforcement of California’s AB 5 (the strict ABC worker status test used in California). On August 29, the injunction was lifted. AB 5 can now be enforced by state officials against the trucking industry. Transportation businesses may use various strategies in an effort to comply with AB 5, but much is still unclear. Read more from Scopelitis attorneys about thoughtful and informed strategies regarding AB 5.
Transportation Brief: Consumer Protection Class Actions — A New Favorite for IC Drivers
by Karen Butler Reisinger , Angela S. CashRecently, independent contractor drivers in Iowa, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah have obtained class certification of claims alleging deceptive practices by a motor carrier under state consumer protection statutes. More from Scopelitis on instances wherein contractors argue that motor carriers deceive drivers by promising monthly miles or revenue in the recruiting process that fails to materialize.
Transportation Brief: Illinois Supreme Court Poised to Issue Key Biometric Privacy Law Rulings
by Jared KramerIllinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is one of the nation’s toughest laws regulating the collection, storage, and use of biometric identifiers. The Illinois Supreme Court is considering two cases that may have significant ramifications for companies that have potential exposure under the law. Read more about these cases and their potential impact on the industry.
Transportation Brief: Individual PAGA Claims Can be Arbitrated, But Only Where the FAA Applies
by Braden K. Core , Prasad SharmaThe U.S. Supreme Court held that California’s long-standing rule prohibiting parties from agreeing to arbitrate Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). However, there are limits to the holding. Read more from Scopelitis on those limits.
Transportation Brief: Supreme Court Addresses “Transportation Worker” Exemption from the FAA
by Braden K. Core , Prasad SharmaIn a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified who qualifies as a “transportation worker” for purposes of the exemption from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). In Southwest Airlines v. Saxon, the Court held that an airline’s ramp supervisor, who regularly performed loading and unloading of luggage, mail, and cargo, was exempt from the FAA. Read more about the Court’s reason and how it might apply to workers.
Transportation Brief: For the Record, Summer 2022
News about Scopelitis Law Firm.
- On the Road
Scopelitis attorneys are often invited to participate in meetings with transportation industry leaders. Learn more about their trips this quarter.
Transportation Industry News & Trends