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Thursday, August 18, 2016

San Antonio Plaintiff Lawyer Acquitted in BP Spill Case

A Texas lawyer and at least two other people were acquitted in a federal trial related to accusations they were among several people that faked more than 40,000 damage claims after the BP oil spill in 2010.

San Antonio attorney Mikal Watts, a Corpus Christi native, two non-attorney members of his law firm and four contract field workers were accused of inventing victims or using real people's names without permission to land Watts a spot on the lucrative BP litigation steering committee and inflate legal fees he might collect.

I'm not a fan of Mikal Watts because he is a major fundraiser for Obama and probably Hillary Clinton. I do have to say that I am very impressed that he had the audacity to defend himself in a federal criminal fraud trial and that he won. He could expand into big time criminal defense but the fees probably aren't big enough. 

Anyway, congratulations to Mr. Watts. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mikal Watts Criminal Trial - Closing arguments set in claims of fake oil spill plaintiffs

from Washington Times
GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - Jurors are set to begin weighing whether they believe a Texas lawyer and six others faked damage claims after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Closing arguments are scheduled Wednesday in the criminal trial in Gulfport. San Antonio lawyer Mikal Watts and his co-defendants face 66 charges.
Prosecutors say the seven people created a list of bogus plaintiffs including people who died before the spill and people whose names and Social Security numbers were used without permission.

Watts and other defendants conducted a shorter defense than they originally projected in the case, which began July 20. The defendants argue the government hasn’t proved they intended to defraud anyone. Watts, his brother David Watts and law partner Hector Eloy Guerra filed motions seeking acquittal Tuesday as the trial ended.

Shameful Lawyer Weekly Roundup

from Washington Times
The Justice Department will order all of its civil division lawyers to take an hourlong remedial ethics class, hoping to head off even worse punishment from a federal judge who is furious about the way Obama administration attorneys misled him in the case involving the president’s deportation amnesty.
In a document filed with Judge Andrew Hanen last month and made public Monday, administration attorneys insisted they didn’t mean to mislead the court, but they acknowledged sloppiness and said their own use of technical jargon may have confused the judge.

from Reuters
Exposing the underbelly of mass torts litigation

from Salon.com
Backlash against Texas prosecutor: Devon Anderson under scrutiny after jailing rape victims

Harris County D.A. Devon Anderson incarcerated rape survivors in order to compel their testimony in court

Penn. AG Found Guilty on All Charges
from Daily Beast

Kathleen Kane, the attorney general for Pennsylvania, was convicted Monday of nine criminal charges, including perjury and conspiracy. Kane was accused of leaking secret grand-jury files and lying about it under oath. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele told the jury that Kane orchestrated a leak of secret grand-jury documents to plant a negative story about her political opponent, former state prosecutor Frank Fina. Kane later lied about her actions under oath.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane Resigns After Perjury Conviction
Kane could face up to seven years in prison for leaking information to a reporter.