Boise's No-Lawyers Bar may need to hire an extra bouncer. According to The Wall Street Journal, "everyone who's anyone in the world of personal injury and product liability lawyering is making their way to Boise for the Multidistrict Litigation hearing on the colossal litigation against BP."
To date, more than 300 lawsuits seeking billions in damages have been filed in federal courts throughout the Gulf region. Estimates of BP's ultimate payout due to the massive spill continue to rise. In May, analysts estimated costs of judgments and claims wouldn't exceed $20 billion. A June report from Credit Suisse assessed BP's liabilities at $37 billion in cleanup and liabilities. But a July assessment from oil analyst Fadel Gheit guesses that the financial hit from the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster could easily top $60 billion.
At the Thursday, July 29, MDL panel, seven federal judges will be charged with deciding whether (and how) to consolidate all of the federal suits, filed by everyone from injured rig workers to fishermen whose livelihoods have been financially crippled.
Plaintiffs' attorneys have been burning up the phone lines in order to divide up the mere minutes they'll be allowed for arguments. It will be up to the attorneys themselves to decide who will speak.
BW will be blogging live throughout the proceedings at boiseweekly.com.
There's expected to be some commotion outside the courthouse as well. A grass-roots effort to rally and march to the Federal Building will commence at 7 a.m. on Thursday, July 29.
Meanwhile, one gulf attorney has blogged: "Boise doesn't even have a five-star hotel." A respondent fired back: "The way it works here, we do have a four-star hotel. Once you get here we'll jam the fifth star up your ass. Welcome to Boise, Mr. Gulf Attorney." It's signed: welcoming committee.