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By Gina Tabonares

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, July 14) - The Government of Guam will try to exhort all legal efforts to overturn the Federal Maritime Commission’s decision on the decade-old maritime case filed by the local government against two shipping companies.

GovGuam lost one of its battles against the shipping companies when FMC handed down a decision in favor of American President Lines and Sea Land Service.

The federal commission claimed that GovGuam failed to prove that residents were overcharged and failed to submit an objection in time.

Attorney General Douglas Moylan, who blamed the Gutierrez administration for neglecting the maritime case, told Variety that the law firm hired to represent GovGuam on a separate maritime case expressed their intention to help in the neglected case.

Moylan said that Edward D. Greenberg and David K. Monroe from the law firm of Galland, Kharasch, Greenberg, Feliman & Swirsky, PC will appeal the FMC opinion before the Ninth Circuit.

"Although the said law firm was hired to represent Guam on a different maritime case, I just spoke with Attorney Greenberg and he told me that they are preparing their appeal and will try other legal options to overturn the decision," Moylan explained.

According to him, it was neglected after the former governor terminated the services of the maritime lawyer retained by Port Authority of Guam until year 2003.

"It is a fault of the past administration because they did not replace the maritime lawyer they terminated, the primary reason why they found that there’s no chance that we will receive reimbursement for the years 1987, 1988, 1989," Moylan added.

He lamented that millions of dollars have been spent over the last decade to recover alleged overcharges by local shipping companies.

July 15, 2005

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