In yet another attempt to frustrate the operations of the Settlement Program, BP filed a motion with the Eastern District of Louisiana seeking to remove the Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau. BP claimed that it was unaware Mr. Juneau provided consulting work for the State of Louisiana following the April 20, 2010, oil spill and, as a result, had a disqualifying conflict of interest that prevented him from objectively fulfilling his duties. Judge Carl Barbier saw through BP’s arguments and denied the motion. In a blistering order, Judge Barbier stated that BP actually discussed Mr. Juneau’s previous work before he was selected by the PSC and BP as the Claims Administrator. Judge Barbier also rejected BP’s attempt to paint Mr. Juneau as biased when he responded to what he believed to be “unfair or unwarranted criticism” by BP in its public relations campaign. BP’s motion does not surprise us as it attempts to backtrack on this settlement.
Interestingly, one law firm representing BP just argued against a similar conflict in an unrelated lawsuit. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, which handles BP’s appellate work, represents New York property owners who are seeking damages from Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc. for environmental cleanup costs. Defense attorneys argued that Gibson Dunn’s representation of the board of Con Edison, Inc., an unrelated subsidiary, disqualified Gibson Dunn from representing the Plaintiffs. U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Shofield found no disqualifying conflict existed because the case involved separate attorneys, unrelated subjects, and different legal entities. Despite Gibson Dunn failing to obtain a conflict waiver, Judge Shofield also concluded that removing Gibson Dunn after 15 years of representation would unfairly prejudice the Plaintiffs.
This goes to show that BP will do anything within its power to get its way: renege on promises it made, deny it was well aware of unfavorable facts, and completely manufacture conflicts that do not exist – even when its lawyers have argued against such disqualifying conflicts in other cases.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.