The Federal Maritime Commission Newsroom


Chairman Blust Announces the Retirement of Chief ALJ Norman D. Kline

April 4, 2005

NR 05-05

CONTACT: BRYANT L. VANBRAKLE (202) 523-5725; e-mail:

Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Steven R. Blust today announced the retirement of the Commission's Chief Administrative Law Judge, Norman D. Kline, effective April 2, 2005.

Judge Kline is originally from Lynn, Massachusetts, and is a graduate of Harvard College. He volunteered for the draft during the Korean War and served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to l955. After he was discharged, he attended Boston University School of Law and graduated in 1959. In December 1960, he join the Federal Maritime Board. He was among a group of employees who were transferred from the Federal Maritime Board and the Maritime Administration to the Federal Maritime Commission, when it was established by Reorganization Plan No. 7, effective August 12, 1961. While employed with the Federal Maritime Commission, he advanced from trial attorney to Senior Principal Attorney. Judge Kline was appointed an Administrative Law Judge in December 1972, and in February 1992, he was appointed the Chief Administrative Law Judge. During his distinguished career, Judge Kline has handled a number of significant cases including Docket No. 78-13, Old Ben Coal v. Sea-Land Service, Inc., which is the leading case governing Commission approval of settlement agreements; Docket No. 99-12, South Carolina Maritime Services, Inc. v. South Carolina State Ports Authority, affirmed by the Supreme Court, which ruled that the respondent was an arm of the state and thus immune from private complaints before administrative agencies and before federal courts; and Informal Docket No. 1695(F), William R. Adair v. Penn-Nordic Lines, Inc., which gave Mr. Adair a forum in which to complain about the service he received from an unlicensed freight forwarder and an NVOCC when he tried to ship a motorcycle to his son in New Zealand.

Chairman Blust stated: "Judge Kline is a man who has never lost his enthusiasm for the law, he has an extraordinary depth of knowledge of the cases before this agency, and his reputation throughout the maritime bar brings great credit to himself and this Agency. We will miss this outstanding Judge."