In a surprising twist, news reports have covered the increasingly hostile campaign led by BP's lawyers to discredit Judge Carl Barbier, the U.S. District Court Judge who is presiding over several cases concerning BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Experts say that the lengths BP has gone to are surprising given that most companies would try to avoid publicly embarrassing the judge assigned to watch over several of their multibillion dollar cases.
Earlier this year BP appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals claiming that Barbier had refused to stop payments of some claims that the oil company said were fictitious. As a result of that appeal, the Fifth Circuit ordered Barbier to reconsider BP's claims and reevaluate whether business plaintiffs who had never suffered any real harm due to the accident were receiving payments.
Apparently unhappy with Barbier's efforts, BP last week filed what it called an "emergency motion" with the Fifth Circuit asking them to yet again intervene. BP's lawyers said that Barbier has defied the Fifth Circuit's directive to prevent payments to undeserving claimants. Many experts familiar with the case say this motion is nearly unheard of given how aggressively it takes the presiding judge to task.
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