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Gulf Coast Oil Spill

Balch & Bingham LLP has organized a Gulf Coast Oil Spill Legal Team to assist clients in responding to the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The team is comprised of lawyers and paralegals from across the firm’s sections and offices, to bring to bear the substantive experience necessary to efficiently and effectively address client needs arising from this unprecedented disaster.

Balch & Bingham LLP is uniquely positioned to assist businesses, government entities, and individuals in their response to the spill.  The firm’s Environmental & Natural Resources Section includes twenty attorneys focused exclusively on environmental law.  The group constitutes one of the largest full-time environmental practice groups in the South.  The firm’s litigators are experienced in complex litigation and multi-district class actions.  Our lawyers are well-equipped to handle the myriad of other business law issues that will arise from the spill, including insurance coverage disputes and business interruption claims.

Our geographic footprint includes two of the Gulf Coast States most threatened by the spill—Alabama and Mississippi, and our attorneys are licensed to represent clients in Florida and Louisiana as well.  The attorneys in our Gulfport, Mississippi office have handled maritime claims and issues for decades, and have worked extensively on legal issues arising from coastal disasters—most notably, Hurricane Katrina.

The legal issues surrounding the oil spill are complex and novel.  The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, 33 U.S.C. §§ 2701-2762, was passed by Congress in reaction to the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.  Although this federal law is two decades old, it has not been applied in a situation even approaching the current spill.  Many of its provisions will be tested and interpreted by the courts for the first time.  For businesses, individuals, and government entities with sizeable interests threatened by the spill, it will be essential to have legal advice to navigate this statute and the other federal and state environmental laws that apply—from the statutory claims presentment process to the complex litigation that has already begun.

For more information about the firm’s Gulf Coast Oil Spill Legal Team, contact Steve McKinney (Environmental & Natural Resources), Stephen Gidiere (Environmental & Natural Resources), Russ Campbell (Litigation), or Mike Freeman (Litigation) in Birmingham, or Jonathan Dyal (Litigation) or Teri Wyly (Environmental & Natural Resources) in Gulfport.

For updates and insights into the legal issues surrounding the oil spill, visit Balch & Bingham’s Southeast Environmental Law Blog.

Other websites that may be useful include, but are not limited to, the following