Lawyer Watts quits BP fight amid probe
In the face of a federal investigation into the legitimacy of his client list, nationally known San Antonio plaintiffs lawyer and Democrat stalwart Mikal C. Watts has resigned from litigation over the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Watts tendered his resignation recently from the plaintiffs' steering committee, an exclusive group of lawyers handling tens of thousands of claims against BP and other companies that settled over the disaster.
Watts is known for donating more than $7 million to Democratic campaigns in San Antonio, in Texas and in national races.
Last July, he held a private $35,800-a-plate fundraiser at his home in The Dominion for President Barack Obama.
Watts' resignation comes three weeks after the San Antonio Express-News first reported that the Secret Service raided his two law offices in Northwest San Antonio, and confirmed with authorities that they were part of a federal investigation into his client list in the BP litigation.
The New York Times first reported in 2011 that Watts was accused of discrepancies in the litigation against BP as he made his way onto the plaintiffs steering committee. A large list of clients can help secure a seat on the committee.
Thousands of drug cases may be overturned because DPS lab worker allegedly faked results
Grits has already expressed amazement that a scandal involving a fired DPS crime lab worker who allegedly fabricated test results - and who performed controlled substances testing in nearly 5,000 drug cases - has received so little press attention, suggesting that the episode may result in the courts overturning hundreds of cases with sentences collectively totaling more than 10,000 years. As it turns out, I may have underestimated the scope of this fiasco.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals recently began overturning old convictions based on this episode, starting with instances where evidence was destroyed post-conviction, making retesting impossible. The general counsel at the Texas Forensic Science Commission has estimated that evidence was destroyed in 25-50% of cases where Jonathan Salvador performed testing. In several cases, however, including, e.g., one styled Ex Parte Patrick Lynn Hobbs, the high court ruled that, "While there is evidence remaining that is available to retest in this case, that evidence was in the custody of the lab technician in question. This Court believes his actions are not reliable; therefore custody was compromised, resulting in a due process violation. Applicant is therefore entitled to relief." In other words, it may not matter whether evidence is available for retesting or not.
Why is the Government Buying Up all the Ammo?
All the sporting goods stores (Walmart, Gibson's, etc.) are sold out of ammo. You can't even find .22 ammo. Why?
The Government is buying it all, supposedly for training. See Why is the Department of Homeland Security buying so many bullets?
The Homeland Security Department wants to buy more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition in the next four or five years. It says it needs them -- roughly the equivalent of five bullets for every person in the United States -- for law enforcement agents in training and on duty.
Published federal notices about the ammo buy have agitated conspiracy theorists since the fall. That's when conservative radio host Alex Jones spoke of an "arms race against the American people" and said the government was "gearing up for total collapse, they're gearing up for huge wars." Forbes reports that Add to this perplexing outré purchase of ammo, DHS now is showing off its acquisition of heavily armored personnel carriers, repatriated from the Iraqi and Afghani theaters of operation. As observed by “paramilblogger” Ken Jorgustin last September:
[T]he Department of Homeland Security is apparently taking delivery (apparently through the Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico VA, via the manufacturer – Navistar Defense LLC) of an undetermined number of the recently retrofitted 2,717 ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ MaxxPro MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.”
These MRAP’s ARE BEING SEEN ON U.S. STREETS all across America by verified observers with photos, videos, and descriptions.”