Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Judge Who Nixed Drilling Ban Had Oil Investments

Why didn't Judge Martin Feldman recuse himself? Apparently because he wanted to make this decision.

Judge Who Nixed Drilling Ban Had Oil Investments
Curt Anderson and Michael Kunzelman
June 23, 2010

The Louisiana judge who struck down the Obama administration's six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has reported extensive investments in the oil and gas industry, according to financial disclosure reports. He's also a new member of a secret national security court.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, a 1983 appointee of President Ronald Reagan, reported owning less than $15,000 in stock in 2008 in Transocean Ltd., the company that owned the sunken Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

Feldman overturned the ban Tuesday, saying the government simply assumed that because one rig exploded, the others pose an imminent danger, too...

Feldman's 2008 financial disclosure report - the most recent available - also showed investments in Ocean Energy, a Houston-based company, as well as Quicksilver Resources, Prospect Energy, Peabody Energy, Halliburton, Pengrowth Energy Trust, Atlas Energy Resources, Parker Drilling and others. Halliburton was also involved in the doomed Deepwater Horizon project.

Feldman did not respond to requests for comment and to clarify whether he still holds some or all of these investments.

He's one of many federal judges across the Gulf Coast region with money in oil and gas. Several have disqualified themselves from hearing spill-related lawsuits and others have sold their holdings so they can preside over some of the 200-plus cases...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

San Diego Lawyers Club to Honor 3 Attorneys

Lawyers Club to Honor 3 Attorneys
San Diego Metropolitan Magazine
Daily Business Report — April 30, 2010

San Diego attorneys Jay Jeffcoat, Elizabeth Balfour and Betty Boone will receive major awards from the Lawyers Club of San Diego at its May 26 annual dinner, “Catalyst for Change,” at the U.S. Grant Hotel in Downtown San Diego. The club also will pay tribute to the late Midge Costanza, a former White House aide who died last month. The keynote address will be by Roberta Liebenberg, chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession and a senior partner at Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C. in Philadelphia

Jeffcoat, partner with DLA Piper US, will receive the Belva Lockwood Award, the club’s highest honor, for his contributions to the organization. He helped found the first National Organization of Women chapter in El Centro years ago and is active with the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, United Way, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, the New Children’s Museum and other organizations.

Balfour, a partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, is to receive the Community Service Award, given to an individual whose activities have improved the status of women and promoted equality. Balfour co-chaired the 2007-08 Women’s Resource Fair Task Force and has received the 2007 San Diego County Bar Association’s Service to the Bar Award, among others, and serves as a board member of the San Diego County Bar Association and the Legal Aid Society of San Diego.

Boone, retired chief deputy county counsel, is to receive the Icon Award, which recognizes her lifelong commitment to improving the status of women. It will be only the second time the Lawyers Club has given the award. It was initially presented to White House press correspondent Helen Thomas in 2008. Boone, who has been a member of Lawyers Club since its formation in 1972, was the second female graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law. She currently serves as Lawyers Club’s historian and archivist.

The annual dinner includes a VIP reception at 5 p.m., cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. and dinner and program at 6:30 p.m. Lawyers Club president Catherine Kowalewski, a partner at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, will preside over the event and will pass the gavel to 2010-11 president Wendy Behan, senior associate at Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, who begins her term as president July 1.