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FMC hires new judge as caseload balloons

Article-FMC hires new judge as caseload balloons

Photo: Bill Oxford - Unsplash Judge's gavel in court
The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has hired Linda S. Harris Crovella as an Administrative Law Judge to help tackle its rising workload.

“The caseload of our Office of the Administrative Law Judge has sharply increased over the past two years resulting from more parties seeking relief to shipping disputes by using the formal complaints process,“ said Chairman Daniel B. Maffei.

Crovella is an experienced judge, having served for six years as an Administrative Law Judge at the Social Security Administration. Prior to that role she worked as a Field Attorney for the National Labor Relations Board, investigating and litigating unfair labor practice charges, before becoming a supervisory attorney.

“Expanding the capabilities and resources of this critical function supports my priority that the Commission emphasize its enforcement work. Judge Crovella possess excellent experience and credentials and I am confident she will be a valuable addition to the agency. I am pleased to welcome her to the Commission,” said Maffei.

Crovella is a member of the New York State Bar and will serve with Chief Administrative Law Judge Erin M. Wirth.

The pandemic and resulting supply chain congestion in the US has brought a great deal of activity at the FMC over the past two years. Rising detention and demurrage charges, congestion surcharges and freight rates brought allegations of profiteering against container lines as prices for users spiked as service levels plummeted.

Key developments at the FMC in recent months include a $2m settlement with Hapag-Lloyd in a demurrage and detention case, the passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act 2022, and the strengthening of the commission’s enforcement capabilities with the new Bureau of Enforcement, Investigations, and Compliance (BEIC).

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