Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DHECC - ex parte?

When I published the previous post, I was under the assumption that Judge Barbier, Judge Shushan and Patrick Juneau could have unannounced, ex parte communications.  However, I found the meeting egregious in light that Juneau's balls are on the block with Barbier holding the cleaver and that's why I published the picture.  At the very least it seems they should have had a court reporter present if not a BP attorney.

But since then both AZ commenter Kevin and I have been looking for the Order that allows the ex parte communication and we have yet to find it.  I was sent this order after a request but I can't find anything in it about ex parte communications between the Claims Administrator and the Judge.

Is there anyone out there who can point us to the actual Order?


Anonymous said...

Forget what I just said!!!!!
I'm a dumbass. Wrong case.

What would be interesting is to contrast this order with whatever order is in place now.

Good luck finding it.

Ears Thyrel said...

Yep wrong case. But I do see the official comments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure # 53 say the following:

"Ex parte communications between a master and the court present troubling questions. Ordinarily the order should prohibit such communications, assuring that the parties know where authority is lodged at each step of the proceedings. Prohibiting ex parte communications between master and court also can enhance the role of a settlement master by assuring the parties that settlement can be fostered by confidential revelations that will not be shared with the court. Yet there may be circumstances in which the master's role is enhanced by the opportunity for ex parte communications with the court. A master assigned to help coordinate multiple proceedings, for example, may benefit from off-the-record exchanges with the court about logistical matters. The rule does not directly regulate these matters. It requires only that the court exercise its discretion and address the topic in the order of appointment."

So this order has to exist. Right?

Ears Thyrel said...

here's that cite: http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/rule_53

Jason Brad Berry said...

No. I don't think it does exist but I am asking someone to show me I'm wrong.

My guess is that the Judge will say he can do whatever the hell he wants but if BP never consented to ex parte I'm not sure how he can justify that other than sheer hubris.

Also, it's curious that it was ordered on other MDL cases and possibly not this one.

I'm not a lawyer, I have no idea what is acceptable conduct in the legal arena, especially for a Federal Judge but the fact that they're meeting, at a swanky restaurant, without a court reporter, after BP has asked the Judge to remove Juneau, after Juneau clearly perjured himself in order to get the job...looks like "te appearance of impropriety" to me.

Kevin said...

Could there have been some kind of scheduling, administrative or emergency issue that required them to meet and eat?

Maybe they were going over a list of replacements for David Duval?

Jason Brad Berry said...

Kevin did find this on the Code of Conduct for United States Judges: Canon 3; Item 4(b):


(b) when circumstances require it, permit ex parte communication for scheduling, administrative, or emergency purposes, but only if the ex parte communication does not address substantive matters and the judge reasonably believes that no party will gain a procedural, substantive, or tactical advantage as a result of the ex parte communication;

Jason Brad Berry said...

It seems to me the real question here is whether or not they discussed the efforts to dismiss Juneau in any way shape or form. If they did, there is no question that Juneau would "gain a procedural, substantive, or tactical advantage as a result of the ex parte communication".

How could he not gain an advantage if the Judge discussed it with him? Did Juneau have the opportunity to plea his case to the Judge? Did they discuss Juneau's perjury to Freeh? Did they discuss media backlash of the situation? Did Juneau pay for the meal out of his own pocketbook?

Both of them, Barbier and Shushan, should provide the public with written explanations as to what was discussed at that meeting.

To all you fuckers telling me this is "much ado about nothing"....keep telling yourself that and then explain to me why we can't find an order that allowed ex parte communication on this case.

Kevin said...


Not to nitpick, but we did find 2 orders that allowed others (not PJ) to have ex parte communications.

The first is the 10/7/2010 order appointing Francis E. McGovern as a special master. Run a Google search using his name, Owens Corning, Joe Rice and Judge Wolin

The second is Pretrial Order No. 9 which allows class counsel and the CPA they retained to have ex parte communications with the court on the Common Benefit Fee Fund that has reimbursed the attorneys around $32 million so far in "shared costs."

As far as PJ, just this afternoon I read a pleading filed by BP in 2013 that specifically says PJ was never appointed as a special master and there is no Rule 53 order. That's what BP says.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Right, I knew about the McGovern Order. I didn't know about the CPA and PSC order.

Also remember, I've already shown that at least one PSC attny, Joe Rice, had direct contact with P and N accountants about his own claims. I'm pretty sure that wasn't allowed by the Court.

I'm sure they will ignore this current issue as the ignored all the other issues I've brought up.

Every time I bring up an allegation the initial response is "that's not true!" Then when I prove it the response becomes "well it's not a big deal!" or "it's OK because....blah, blah, blah....".

Add this one to the list.

Jason Brad Berry said...

...Oh and definitely add Juneau perjuring himself at the top of the list....well maybe right below the PSC's expedited claims.

Jason Brad Berry said...

And also add in all the other combative responses like "You're working for Brent Coon!", or "You're working for BP!".

This is the first time I've worked on a story in the legal arena so I've admittedly been clumsy about it but I am learning a lot. I've learned a lot from this thread alone.

However, the one thing I've found funny about reporting this story on the local justice system is that very few people involved in it can even comprehend that my goal is simply to find the truth. I'm not sure if that says something about the state of Louisiana or the state of the American justice system in general.

I find it rather ironic that so many people involved in the justice system can't imagine that my motivation would be to seek justice and truth. They assume I must have an ulterior or financial motive.

That's testicularly-tickling amusing to me.

Kevin said...

Why, in his latest clawback motion for fraudulent claims, does Freeh leave out the name the law firm representing the Zirlott claimants?

Is it because the Zirlott claimants were represented by a Class Counsel firm from Alabama?

Anonymous said...

Kevin, fyi, the name and signature of an attorney appears on p.3 of one of the attachments to Freeh's motion.