Perhaps Her Majesty has not read The BP Corollary or otherwise does not understand the devastation her country’s British Petroleum wrought on the Gulf of Mexico and the American people? Or maybe she wishes we could revert back to the Thirteen Colonies so that the United Kingdom could simply tell our judiciary what to do and be done with these peasants?
This afternoon attorneys for the Queen filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court styled, “Brief of Her Brittanic Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as Amicus Curiae in Support of BP“. Seriously, that’s what the attorneys called the document. Referring to their client as the “Brittanic Majesty” likely won’t garner much sympathy in these parts.
That said, Her Majesty’s timing was impeccable, coming mere hours after United States District Court Judge Carl Barbier handed down a 150+ page ruling finding that the convicted corporate felon that is BP was grossly negligent and engaged in willful misconduct that lead to the Deepwater Horizon disaster which killed 11 Americans, destroyed the Gulf of Mexico, and wrecked the economy of the Gulf Coast (particularly Florida).
The Royal Family is real sorry for your losses, but…
Did Her Majesty’s barristers miss former BP CEO Tony Hayward’s 2010 description of the Deepwater Horizon project as “akin to outer . . . space exploration”? Or the testimony of drilling expert Dr. Alan Huffman cited in today’s ruling by Judge Barbier saying BP’s drilling operation on the Deepwater Horizon was “one of the most dangerous things [he] had ever seen in [his] 20 years’ experience”, calling it “totally unsafe”?
Does Her Majesty condone the following behavior as described in Judge Barbier’s ruling from last Christmas Eve:
“BP not only took the position that causation under the Settlement was determined exclusively through [the formulas in] Exhibit 4B, it promoted Exhibit 4B as providing a benefit to claimants in that it was ‘more than reasonable,’ ‘more than fair,’ ‘objective,’ ‘transparent,’ ‘standardized,’ ‘economically appropriate,’ ‘consistent with . . . economic reality,’ and an ‘efficient’ method of establishing causation. Such attributes, BP claimed, were part of the reason the Settlement deserved Court approval. … This Court accepted BP’s previous position when it certified the Settlement Class and approved the Settlement on December 21, 2012. The Court further finds that BP’s change of position was not inadvertent.“
Judge Barbier echoed this sentiment in a similar statement from a separate ruling on the issue in late November 2013:
“BP accuses the Claims Administrator of ‘rewriting’ and ‘systematically disregarding’ the Settlement Agreement. To the contrary, when it talks about causation, if anyone is attempting to rewrite or disregard the unambiguous terms of the Settlement Agreement, it is counsel for BP.
“Frankly, it is surprising that the same counsel who represented BP during the settlement negotiations, participated in drafting the final Settlement Agreement, and then strenuously advocated for approval of the settlement before this Court, now come to this Court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and contradict everything they have previously done or said on this issue. Such actions are deeply disappointing.”
Here’s hoping the recent New York Times article describing Justice Scalia’s distaste for faux amici is accurate. Not sure there is any less of a “friend of the court” than our former ruler, one we fought a war to distance ourselves from.