Semmes Legal Articles

Semmes offers articles, relative to different areas of law, for information-purposes only. Semmes assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or timeliness of any information provided herein. The articles and information may not apply to your unique situation, and are not intended to be used as a basis for any particular course of action or as a substitute for legal advice.

New Maryland Legislation

September, 2000

In the most recent legislative session, there were three bills approved by the Maryland Legislature that make important changes in the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act. Benefits for Permanent Partial Disability – Repeal of Sunset Provisions House Bill 182 / Senate Bill 117 repeals the termination date for specified changes to the workers’ compensation benefit structure…

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The District Of Columbia Update

September, 2000

A limited number of forms routinely used in workers’ compensation claims in the District of Columbia can now be downloaded from the Internet. The Department of Employment Services has a new web site which makes these forms available. The Internet address for the site is http://does.ci.washington.dc.us. Once at the site, click first on the line…

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Passenger Ship Convention Sidetracked/Bunker Pollution Convention Prioritized

August, 2000

In the last issue of The Quartermaster we mentioned that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Legal Committee was scheduled to meet in October of this year and would attempt to implement a Draft Protocol amending the 1974 Athens Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea. Leading up to that meeting the Draft Protocol was nearly complete and it appeared that it would be the first priority of the Legal Committee. However, early in the course of the meeting it became apparent that consensus could not be reached on a number of important items, and, as a result, the Draft Protocol was taken off the Legal Committee’s number one priority status.

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New Funding To Be Made Available For U.S. Flag Vessel Construction

July, 2000

Early in November, 1999, Representatives McCrery (R-La.) and Jefferson (D-La) in the House joined Sen. John Breaux (D-La) to sponsor new legislation that would change U.S. tax laws to liberalize the use of the Capital Construction Fund by U.S. flag operators not only to fund new ship construction in U.S. shipyards, but also to lease…

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New Federal OSHA Standards Could Impact Occupational Disease Claims

July, 2000

The Federal Government’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued proposed regulations in November of 1999 dealing with alleged repetitive motion disorders and ergonomics. If adopted, these regulations would require many employers to establish comprehensive plans geared toward ending what OSHA refers to as work-related “musculoskeletal disorders” (“MSD”).

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New Funding Source Proposed For Dredging

June, 2000

Ever since the Supreme Court held that the Harbor Maintenance Tax on exports to be unconstitutional in United States v. United States Shoe Corporation, ___ U.S. ___, 118 S.Ct. 1290, 140 L.Ed2d 453 (1998), Congress has grappled with finding an alternative means to fund maintenance dredging of the nation’s harbors. In the last Congress, a…

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