Looks like Phase II is complete. Although I didn't follow it closely, the reports I read lead me to view the result of this phase as pretty unpredictable. In other words, seemed like there was enough evidence (or qualified expert testimony) to support either side's position on quantity of oil released, or anywhere in between. Plus, some "legal" issues seemed to emerge; for example, apparently the volume released at the wellhead on the floor of the gulf is greater than what might make it to the surface, after trapped gasis released from the oil -- so that adds to the uncertainty by raising the question of where the release is to be measured. Likewise, the Phase I result seems like a coin flip between ordinary negligence or gross negligence
I don't envy Judge Barbier, as he'll be appealed (and criticized) no matter how he rules. But whatever his decisions might be, I believe they'll be the product of his view of how the evidence introduced at trial, as he perceives it, applies to the law as he understands it, and not corruption or conscious favoritism of one side over the other.
I saw a very obvious bias in Barbier's background and behavior. First of all, it was reported that he headed up at one point the Plaintiffs Bar Association in Louisiana, which may very well tilt his views. Secondly, after repeated attempts by BP to get him to change the obviously distorted compensation practices of Juneau's operation, he he had to be overruled by the appellate court. That may put him under closer scrutiny and make him a bit more impartial in any final decisions, but the guy tipped his hand early on and should be watched closely before any premature compliments are showered on him.
According to the court's website, Phase II post-trial opening briefs from the parties are due on 12/20/13, and replies are due 1/24/14. As with the post-trial briefing order for Phase I, there's no indication of when a ruling will be forthcoming, but given that briefing schedule it looks like the Phase II ruling that probably won't be issued before March. And while I guess it's possible that the Phase I ruling could be issued before then, it also seems possible that they'll be issued simultaneously. No word that I'm aware of as to when the third phase of trial will begin.
I like that post. It's fair and I agree. Barbier seems fair and good. But from what I read about this phase of the trial, I think the evidence shows more oil flow supporting the government's position.
I mean, for God's sake, the feds put an oil flow meter on the well before the top kill was done that showed how fast oil was spewing out. The feds used that measurement as the basis for their numbers. BP argued the oil flow rate speeded up over the weeks as concrete broke off. That sounds like something you would make up if you couldn't think of anything else to say!
I'm sorry, this is a Company that is a serial liar, and it seems obvious to me their experts lied in this phase too. Call me biased, but it seems obvious to me. That's all I'll say about that.
I look really forward to hearing what Barbier has to say about this.
curio, last march i sat in the courtroom gallery for parts of 3 mornings just to get a read on Judge B. wanted to see if his body english, mannerisms, speech inflection might betray his position. he was doing a good job of playing stoic but it appeared he paid more attention to the attorney for the feds than the attorneys for the defendents. if he feels any pressure, it is to side with the prosecution - as is not atypical for a judge. no, left to his own devices, BP would get pummeled. however, their is now enough publicity that he has to protect his reputation and that favors BP. He has been exposed. i believe BP walks with simple negligence and quantity of oil released falls somewhere between prosecution and BP. nonetheless, once these decisions are rendered, alot of uncertainty is behind. that, in of itself, should drive the day for BP PPS. i am "banking" on it.
Beats me which way he leans, or used to lean, or will lean tomorrow. I'm only saying that I don't think he's corrupt, or that either side's case is full of hot air. If you're right about what he decides -- and I think you might be -- it won't really matter what his motivation is.