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BP wants more than 70 lawsuits over the Gulf oil spill consolidated before a federal judge in Houston.
The oil giant is asking the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to have U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes to hear pretrial matters for all the cases.
Potential class-action lawsuits have been filed in every Gulf Coast state. Plaintiffs include commercial fishermen, business interests, property owners and others.
BP and other companies operated the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. It exploded April 20 and killed 11 people before sinking two days later.
Lawyers for some plaintiffs want a New Orleans judge to hear the cases.
The panel likely won't make a decision until July.
The Robing Room: Hon. Lynn N. Hughes
Judge Hughes presented a program entitled: "Dilemmas of Trust" on May 5, 2009. The audience consisted of Geologists, Geophysicists, and Engineers. His presentation was very interesting and thought provoking. It's 45 minutes well spent listening to a very well informed Judge who has thought and taught ethics. He obviously enjoys analyzing carefully, and talking about it! His style is low key, but enthralling. I give him a 10 on content, but a 9 on elocution. Get him to speak to your group. You will be pleased.
Thinks he's charming and cute, but he's pompous and arrogant. He does not follow the rules of civil procedure, particularly with respect to discovery. He calls counsel into chambers, picks sides early, and then allows only limited discovery (sometimes just against one party). His "targeted" discovery steers everything toward the summary judgment outcome he desires. If he picks the other side, you better try to dismiss quickly.
Judge Lynn Hughes should be impeached. He lacks a judicial temperment, and shows bias to one party over another the minute the parties enter his chambers. He prefers to conduct hearings in chambers so that he can railroad the parties. He has no respect for the law or appelate courts--it's basically one capricious and usually wrong-headed man deciding how things should be. He is the worst judge I encountered in my legal career.
Those that criticize him probably just did not get what they want out of him. But, out of all of the judges in the building, he is nearly the only one that sees the Constitution as a shield rather than a sword. He is a scholar and has a healthy distrust of government and a healthy distrust of power. And, after all, isn't this what every judge should be like?
I have tried many cases in front of him and on those that I lost, I have walked away feeling like my client was treated very fair. He has never permitted the government to take shortcuts and he gives the defendant the benefit of every doubt, understanding that this is what the Constitution requires. When he is gone, there will probably not be another who can take his place.
Favors large civil firms, places his law clerks with them if able, and has a monumental ego.
This judge is mean, nasty, outrageous and obviously biased toward corporate defendants, particularly banks. Has a limited ability to think and reason, hidden by nasty screaming personal attacks on lawyers and tirades.