Deepwater Horizon: 200 lawyers

NEW ORLEANS (CN sep 17, 2010) - More than 200 attorneys filled three courtrooms Thursday for a pretrial conference to chart the course of litigation for hundreds of lawsuits involving the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. Presiding Judge Carl J. Barbier apologized that the courtroom was not large enough. "Unfortunately, this is the largest we have," he said to the roomful of more than 150 attorneys, packed along walls to the back doors.
The location was changed last minute from Judge Barbier's courtroom to larger courtroom in the Federal Courthouse, and two overspill rooms were opened before the hearing began.
"I'm not sure how many cases we already have," Barbier said, explaining that some cases from other courts have yet to be transferred to the Eastern District of Louisiana.
"Certainly there are currently hundreds and there will be hundreds, if not thousands more, filed," he said. "On top of all that, investigations by the federal government seeking criminal and civil damages are pending."
In August, a federal panel of judges selected New Orleans as the venue for all Deepwater Horizon oil spill-related lawsuits. The panel also appointed Judge Barbier.
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