Plaintiffs’ Reply in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motions to Recuse The Honorable Carl J. Barbier
On September 17, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their Reply in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motions to Recuse The Honorable Carl J. Barbier, and in reply to several arguments and misrepresentations presented in Defendant Stephen J. Herman’s Opposition to Motions to Recuse, in accordance with the Court’s Order of August 19, 2019 (Rec. Doc. 25963).
Please read the Reply here.
Order Denying Motion for Clarification 08/27/2019
On August 27, 2019 at 04:31 PM, the MDL 2179 Court entered an order (Rec. Doc. 25986) which states “IT IS ORDERED that the Motion for Clarification (Rec. Doc. 25985) is DENIED.”
Please read the court’s order here.
Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law in Support of His Motion for Clarification 08/27/2019
On August 27, 2019 at 07:18 AM, Plaintiff Donovan filed a Motion for Clarification wherein he states, “Judge Barbier is uniquely qualified to determine if he should recuse himself. As the JPML has noted, a transferee judge has an undeniable interest in policing the conduct of attorneys involved in an MDL. Similarly, a transferee judge has an undeniable interest in and is uniquely qualified to determine if he should recuse himself. Plaintiff respectfully points out that, pursuant to the federal recusal statute, specifically 28 U.S.C. § 455(a) and 28 U.S.C. § 455(b)(4), the Honorable Carl J. Barbier does not require responses, a reply, or an oral argument to determine if he should recuse himself.”
Please read the memorandum here.
Motions to Recuse Order 08/20/2019
On August 20, 2019, the MDL 2179 Court entered an order (Rec. Doc. 25963) which states “IT IS ORDERED that any response to the Motions to Recuse (Rec. Docs. 25908, 25927) shall be filed by Thursday, September 19, 2019. Any reply by Mr. Donovan shall be filed by Thursday, September 26, 2019. The Court will determine if oral argument is necessary after it has reviewed the parties’ memoranda.”
Please read the court's order here.
Plaintiff’s Memorandum of Law in Support of His Motion to Recuse The Honorable Carl J. Barbier
Plaintiff Donovan respectfully moves for the recusal of The Honorable Carl J. Barbier from all proceedings involving cases in the BP Oil Well Blowout MDL (MDL 2179) in order to redress an appearance of impropriety and to restore public confidence in the integrity of MDL 2179.
“Any justice, judge or magistrate of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” 28 U.S.C. § 455(a). As the U.S. Supreme Court has explained, that provision requires that the judicial conduct at issue: be evaluated on an objective basis, so that what matters is not the reality of bias or prejudice but its appearance. Quite simply and quite universally, recusal is required whenever “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 548 (1994)(Scalia, J.).
Please read the memorandum here.
JPML Transfers Donovan v. Herman Lawsuit to the BP Oil Well Blowout MDL (MDL 2179)
Please read the transfer order here.
Recently Filed Lawsuit Against Lead Counsel in BP Oil Well Blowout Litigation Explains How Multidistrict Litigation Has Morphed U.S. Federal Courts Into Merely Administrative Agencies
Please read the filed complaint here.
The Lawsuits Pending Against Kenneth R. Feinberg, the Administrator of the BP Oil Well Blowout Victims’ Compensation Fund
Plaintiffs filed their actions against Feinberg, et al. in Florida state courts asserting claims for gross negligence, negligence, negligence per se, fraud, fraudulent inducement, promissory estoppel, and unjust enrichment under Florida state law. The cases were subsequently transferred by the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to the MDL 2179 Court.
Because all Motions to Remand are stayed and Plaintiffs are not permitted to propound discovery by the MDL 2179 Court, Plaintiffs essentially have no recourse through the legal process.
Approximately 40% of the civil cases pending in the nation’s federal courts are consolidated in MDLs. This has resulted in a shift away from the rule of law to a system of arbitrary justice. A single power-grabbing MDL judge is able to deny justice to hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs.
To learn more, visit Goodreads.
What is Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)?
The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) traces its origins to the early 1960s when more than 1800 related civil actions involving price-fixing allegations in the electrical equipment industry flooded the federal courts. To coordinate discovery among the electrical equipment antitrust cases in the over thirty involved courts, Chief Justice Earl Warren created the Coordinating Committee for Multiple Litigation of the United States District Courts. At the end of its work, the Committee recommended a more formalized procedure for handling groups of similar cases. In response, in 1968, Congress enacted the Multidistrict Litigation Statute (28 U.S.C. § 1407), the statute to which the JPML owes its existence.
The JPML consists of seven sitting federal judges designated from time to time by the Chief Justice of the United States. No two JPML members may be from the same federal judicial circuit. The concurrence of four members shall be necessary to any action by the JPML.
The seven JPML members are appointed without any limitation on their terms (“designated from time to time”). However, in June 2000, then-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist imposed some regularity and predictability on the appointment process by establishing staggered seven-year terms for each member. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. has continued his predecessor’s practice.
The multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) statute provides, in pertinent part:
“When civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are pending in different districts, such actions may be transferred to any district for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. Such transfers shall be made by the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation authorized by this section upon its determination that transfers for such proceedings will be for the convenience of parties and witnesses and will promote the just and efficient conduct of such actions. Each action so transferred shall be remanded by the panel at or before the conclusion of such pretrial proceedings to the district from which it was transferred unless it shall have been previously terminated.”
In plain English, the JPML was created to:
(a) determine whether civil actions pending in different federal districts involve one or more common questions of fact such that the actions should be transferred to one federal district for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings;
(b) ensure such transfer of cases to one federal district will be for the convenience of parties and witnesses and will promote the just and efficient conduct of such actions; and
(c) select the federal district and judge(s) best situated to handle the transferred cases.