Judge Carl Barbier caught BP cheating this morning. Surprised?
In an Order denying Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike BP’s Affirmative Defenses, Judge Barbier, already on the receiving end of a voluminous record in this case, discovered that BP’s lawyers tried to sneak an additional six pages into their supporting brief by fudging the page spacing settings on their word processing program. While this is certainly an amateur hour move and of little substantive consequence, it is yet another example of BP’s shear dishonesty, disregard for the American civil justice system and disrespect for the Court.
Judge Barbier put it best in his Order:
“Finally, the Court must address the format of BP’s opposition memorandum. The briefing order allowed BP’s counsel to file a response of up to 35 pages, double-spaced. This is 10 pages over the usual limit for response briefs. BP’s counsel filed a brief that, at first blush, appeared just within the 35-page limit. A closer study reveals that BP’s counsel abused the page limit by reducing the line spacing to slightly less than double-spaced. As a result, BP exceeded the (already enlarged) page limit by roughly 6 pages.
“The Court should not have to waste its time policing such simple rules—particularly in a case as massive and complex as this. Counsel are expected to follow the Court’s orders both in letter and in spirit. The Court should not have to resort to imposing character limits, etc., to ensure compliance. Counsel’s tactic would not be appropriate for a college term paper. It certainly is not appropriate here. Any future briefs using similar tactics will be struck.” – Judge Carl Barbier, September 15, 2014