DRI To Host Oil Spill Litigation SeminarIn Houston

Monday, August 2, 2010 - 01:00

DRI, The Voice of the Defense Bar, is hosting a two-day, comprehensive educational seminar on the wide array of litigation issues associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill next month. It will be held Thursday and Friday, August 12 and 13, at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa in Houston.

DRI has invited leading practitioners, industry experts from around the country, and government authorities to discuss the following topics: state and federal venue implications of AG and governmental actions; the offshore energy insurance market and what Oil Spill Financial Responsibility (OSFR) is required; how changes in the law and political landscape since Valdez impact current spills; and internal investigations: company audits, state oil rig inspections and criminal indictments.

Attendees will discuss public relations and crisis management strategies for likely criminal claims and the congressional investigation; take an in-depth look at litigation from the plaintiffs' and defendants' perspectives; and review past litigation issues that are sure to shape these cases as they progress.

"The issues created by the Gulf Oil Spill are unprecedented," says H. Patrick Morris of Johnson & Bell, Ltd., program co-chair for the DRI seminar. "We plan to shed light on the legal, political, and historical consequences of the spill and emerging developments."

The program begins on Wednesday evening with a social networking reception at 6 p.m. On Thursday, it begins at 8 a.m. and adjourns at 4:30 p.m.In the morning, Richard D. Bertram, Jones Walker Waechter Poitevent Carrére & Denégre LLP, New Orleans, will address Theories of Liability and Damages against those on the Rig - OPA 90, Trespass and Others. A toxicology speaker has been invited to discuss the human health effects of crude oil, dispersants and other chemicals in the Gulf.

On Thursday afternoon, a panel including Kurt Falk, Swiss Reinsurance Company, Linda D. Kornfeld, Dickstein Shapiro LLP, and James S. Pierce, Jr., Marsh Inc., will explore The Alphabet Soup of Insurance Coverage: OPP, EPP and Excess Coverage.

On Friday, the program begins at 8:00 a.m. Rawle O. King, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, will discuss Future Insurability: The Offshore Energy Insurance Market, and Trevor E. Phillips, senior director of Alvarez & Marsal in Houston, will discuss the spill's Injury to the Environment, including damages to real and personal property and the loss of subsistence use of natural resources.

A Reporters' Panel that covers the Political Consequences of the Oil Spill on Climate Change and Energy Legislation will include Kristen Hays, Reuters, Houston; Ted S. Oberg, KTRK-TV News in Houston; and other Gulf Coast journalists, who will lead the discussion.

John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil Company and author of the new book, Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Energy Insider, will discuss energy independence. His presentation will provide a critical look at the parochialism of the industry as well as the unfulfilled promises that politicians make with respect to energy independence. Hofmeister is the founder and CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy, Inc. The program will adjourn at 1:30 p.m.

For information about available CLE credits and fees, see CLE Events on The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel website at www.metrocorpcounsel.com.

To make a reservation, call (312) 795-1101, email seminars@dri.org, or go to www.dri.org.