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Published on September 23, 2010

DISCOVERY IN THE POST-BP OIL SPILL ERA

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Date Published September 23, 2010
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On April 20, 2010, the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and caught fire, ultimately spilling more than 4.9 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. British Petroleum (“BP”) was operating the well and eventually claimed responsibility for the disaster. In fact, internal BP e-mails concluded that several safety features of the well were circumvented in order to boost timely production of crude. It is too early to estimate the full impact that this episode will have on discovery in civil litigation. However, the spill can only serve to underscore the anti-corporate bias many judges and jurors already possess. This article will explore that bias and present various tips to engage in discovery in a more cost-effective way