The U.S. Supreme Court began its 2012-13 Term today with two high profile cases. In Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., No. 10-1491, the petitioner Esther Kiobel, filed a class action under the Alien Tort Statute ("ATS"), 28 U.S.C. § 1350, against the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company (incorporated in the Netherlands), Shell Transport and Trading Company (incorporated in the United Kingdom), and the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (incorporated in Nigeria). The Supreme Court must decide whether a federal district court can hear a claim under the ATS when the claim arose out of conduct in a foreign country. In the Court's second case, Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, No. 11-626, the Court will decide whether an indefinitely moored houseboat is a "vessel" for purposes of federal maritime jurisdiction.