In an important ruling regarding the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s lawsuit, a judge in a state district court has ruled that there is nothing unconstitutional or illegal about the Louisiana Attorney General’s office retaining outside council to represent the SLFPA-E and other state agencies in lawsuits against companies in the oil and gas industry.
The ruling comes after the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association filed a lawsuit against the Attorney General’s office stating that the state legislature must approve outside council for such lawsuits and challenged the constitutionality of Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s decision. A motion filed by LOGA’s attorney with the same argument last Friday was denied.
Caldwell said that the ruling was pleasing, but it was even more pleasing that the judge called LOGA’s lawsuit “frivolous.” LOGA has long stated that lawsuits like the one by the SLFPA-E for the injury and damage to the wetlands against 97 oil and gas companies was “frivolous.” Caldwell also called the LOGA lawsuit a “sideshow.”
LOGA disagrees with the court’s ruling and stated that they will appeal. Sen. Robert Adley again complained about the judge and a conflict of interest he says arose from one of Caldwell’s attorneys hosting a fundraiser for the judge. The attorney says the fundraiser was planned months before the LOGA case was even filed, and he says he wasn’t even in attendance.
Environmentalists may find that the only way they can get results is through the civil court system. An experienced Louisiana environmental attorney can provide more information about how the civil court process works.
Source: The Town Talk, “Judge rules for attorney general in Louisiana Oil and Gas Association lawsuit” Lynda Edwards and Mike Hasten, Mar. 11, 2014