The BP oil spill and the rule of law (or the rule of lawyers)
A major development is coming in the legal battle surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether to review issues presented by BP’s class-action case. What’s at stake here is important not just for BP, but for all of us; namely, whether the rule of law or the rule of lawyers will prevail.
The BP petition presents a narrow issue: whether a class was properly certified consistent with Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Procedure and Article III of the U.S. Constitution. In plain terms, it is whether a class action can be brought if substantial numbers of the class have not suffered any injury caused by the defendant.