Showing posts from March, 2018

Patience You Must Have, Young Lawyer

Always two there are, no more, no less. A name for the thing and a use for it. How to classify, you must choose. Choose wrong, and unbalance the tariff law. Such was GRK Canada . The Court of Appeals chose the use-side, it did. Told the lower court to consider use, even when to the thing a name the tariff gives. Two masters of the tariff struggled for the name-side they did, but the Court went to the use-side. But a Chosen One there is. Bring balance to the law, the Honorable Circuit Judge Reyna did. [I'm done, being Yoda is surprisingly exhausting.] My point is that, in my opinion, the prior decision of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in GRK Canada, Inc. v. United States , upset the normal course of classification by inserting considerations of use into the analysis of eo nomine tariff provisions. The case involves the tariff provisions for wood screws (7318.12) and for self-tapping screws (7318.14). Both are eo nomine classifications, though the names sugg

Default Penalties

I have spent considerable time trying to summarize United States v. Rupari Food Services . I have now come to the conclusion that we are all better off if I just don't. You can read it. When you do, you will see that for a significant time during the litigation of this matter, I served as co-counsel to the defendant along with my friend Peter Quinter of GrayRobinson. At approximately the time that Rupari filed for bankruptcy protection, we were discharged by the client. The Court entered a default judgment on the basis of the facts asserted in the complaint and for the full amount claimed by the United States. That's very likely the end to what is a monumentally sad case.

March Madness

March is always a busy travel month for me. Despite having just returned from Washington, DC, I am presently on my way to San Diego. The ICPA conference, which starts this evening, also explains why half of the customs lawyers who practice in Chicago are on this flight. If anything bad happens to this plane, there will be a lot of openings for customs lawyers in Chicago. This flight also gives me a long overdue opportunity to post about a few relevant cases. The first of which is Moen Inc. v. United States , which addresses the seemingly mundane question of the legal and existential nature of the humble toilet paper holder. As we shall see, this decision is a clean sweep for the plaintiff who should be congratulated for effectively wiping up a victory. I am certain counsel for the plaintiff is flush with pride. The Government, which found no relief, may feel some urgency to an appeal. Moen believes the TP holders are properly classified as base metal mountings of Heading 830

Steel and Aluminum Proclamations

Here is the lowdown on President Trumps action on steel and aluminum .