Thursday, May 23, 2013


On April 20, 2013, three legal "complaints" were filed by the law firm, Herman, Herman, & Katz, on behalf of three independent clients they are representing in their case against BP for damages inflicted in the 2010 Macondo disaster.

Two of these clients are de facto public entities:  The City of New Orleans and The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office.

One of these client's, The Wisner Trust, status as a public or private entity is still in is currently being dealt with in Orleans Parish Civil Court by Judge Lloyd Medley (everyone say hi to Judge Medley).

Here are the complaints filed per entity...I encourage you to read all of them...carefully:

The City of New Orleans

Marlin Gusman (Orleans Parish Sheriffs Office)

The Wisner Trust

So there are three separate claims being filed here against BP by three separate entities yet they are all being represented by the same legal counsel and they were all filed on the same day, April 20, 2013 (as fate would have it...the anniversary of the oil spill).

In respect to the Wisner complaint, the Edward Wisner Trust Advisory Committee was not made aware of this April 20, 2013 filing until May 9, 2013.  So...the legal counsel was acting without the consent of the Committee.

There are two glaring issues with the Wisner filing that I want to point out but in this post I'm just going to present the first one:

1.  In item 31 of the Wisner complaint this grievance is listed:  "...including New Orleans, was a foreseeable result of the oil spill. The adverse impacts to these industries resulted in reduced economic activity in New Orleans which is heavily dependent on the seafood, tourism and petrochemical industries. Due to the foreseeable adverse impact on these industries, the Sheriff of Orleans has lost, and continues to lose, ad valorem property tax revenues and other taxes."

Now, dear readers, I need you to refer to the previous post.  If you did your homework you would know that the Wisner property lies in three parishes:  St. John, Jefferson, and LaFourche.

Noticeably absent in that list is Orleans.  Our beloved Orleans is absent because there is not a fucking square inch of Wisner property in Orleans Parish. shit.

How can the Sheriff of Orleans Parish claim a loss on ad valorem property tax revenues and "other taxes" if Orleans doesn't even host a square inch of Wisner property.  That's one helluva trick.

One could argue that the attorney(s) writing this complaint was/were not aware that Wisner had no property in Orleans.


Of course, if one did make that would draw into question the competence of Wisner's legal council.  How could the legal council for Wisner not even know where the property was located?  And why would they even inject the Sheriff of Orleans into Wisner's claim in the first place if the Sheriff of Orleans already had a separate complaint against BP.... a claim that they, Herman, Herman, & Katz, were representing?

Is there even a window of plausible deniability here?  I'd love to hear it.

Jeez....those are pregnant questions, huh?

If you have time, please read Part 2.  I will follow up with my second point on this matter tomorrow....and believe's going to get much sloppier.



Anonymous said...

Have you considered the possibility that its just a typo? That's what it looks like to me.

Jason Brad Berry said...

You think? I'd love to hear you expound on that...:)

Jason Brad Berry said...

I mean I write a blog...and I certainly understand typo's and mistakes. But then again I don't get paid 6 figure sums to right legal filings. all means....explain how this was typo and how it migrated from one filing to the next.

I beg you sir....please expound. :)

Jason Brad Berry said...


Jason Brad Berry said...

By the way...the typo's and cuttin' and pastin shit is what part two is all about.

So I'll give you fair warning now....that's not going to be a very good defense.

Anonymous said...

The same exact sentence appears in paragraph 23 of the sheriff's complaint which is very close toparagraph 31 of the wisner complaint. The find and replace function on the ol word processor would fix that. I think I know why that may not have caught this particular typo but its terribly mundane to discuss.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Ya think?

I love mundanity.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Keep going...please...keep explaining it....

Jason Brad Berry said...

Because...right now...just to clarify your have the Sheriff of Orleans Parish claiming he has a monetary claim in Wisner.

If that's a typo....I so fucking want to hear how it happened.

You have the floor my have the floor.

Anonymous said...

But I don't understand why you think this is such a big deal. Presumably the responding party would deny that the sheriff incurred damages as a result of the spill's impact on wisner. As you point out, that's not too difficult to dispute. So following your logic either this is a bizarrely creative draftsman or a typo (which I think is more likely). Either way its hardly something to get worked up about.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Because you see...this filing made it's way out of the law firm and into public record.

So...please...explain to me who...exactly this law firm made this "typo".

Please...please explain that to me.

Anonymous said...

"Because...right now...just to clarify your have the Sheriff of Orleans Parish claiming he has a monetary claim in Wisner."

No, you have wisner saying BP caused damage to the sheriff. That doesn't make any sense in the context of the Complaint. Ockham's razor applies.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Do you want me to name the attorney that drafted this?

Jason Brad Berry said...


Jason Brad Berry said...


Anonymous said...

I notice you didn't post my other comment. The Complaint is signed so I guess you think some one "secretly" drafted it? Either way its a Complaint. It's not an agreement or something that transfers anything from one entity to another.

It's time to get some sleep.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Please? Do you want me to name him? Please?

Jason Brad Berry said...

Ok...I know you don't wan't me to name him.

But are you really going to plead incompetence?

I make 6 figures a year and you can't write a clear legal complaint?

Think about it. All you have to do is draft a 20 page document and you somehow inject a random plaintiff into the complaint?

I mean...I'm so willing to work with you here, man. Really. But I write a blog for no money whatsoever and if I make a mistake in a single sentence I'm fucked.

You want me to believe that this guy, drafting this legal complaint, somehow injected a random plaintiff into the Wisner legal filing against BP?

Well...ok. If he did....shouldn't he be fired immediatley?

Once again...I have his name if you need it. ;)

Jason Brad Berry said...

by...not buy.

Anonymous said...

I can easily envision that "point 31" of the Wisner brief was intended to be pasted after "point 30" of the Sheriff's filing. Nobody (especially nobody well-paid and professional) spell checks, much less checks for consistency, any more. And now that Courts demand (whereas they used never to accept!) electronic filings, this is an incredibly easy screw-up to perform today.

Jason Brad Berry said...

I' m not censoring your comments, I didn't see those until this morning.

Jason Brad Berry said...

But if your thesis is correct, that it is simply a mistake, I'm really curious what you're going to have to say about the 2nd item.