Gulf Coast attorneys posturing for leadership role in BP oil spill litigation

David Yates May 27, 2010, 5:39am


From Florida to Texas, Gulf Coast attorneys are posturing for the lead role in the BP-Transocean litigation, flooding coastal cities with radio, print and TV advertisements in hopes of reeling in business owners affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

While BP continues to focus its attention on plugging the well, Southeast Texas lawyers, such as Brent Coon and Tony Buzbee, have been busy making media appearances to publicly blast BP for the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion.

In fact, Coon, founder of the Brent Coon & Associates law firm, recently launched, a website which inundates the sufferer with reasons on why he/she should sign up with his law firm.

"As a national law firm ... we led the charge against British Petroleum following the 2005 explosion at the BP Texas City Refinery that killed 15 people," the website states. "Now, we're preparing to take on the oil giants once again."

Coon, a Beaumont attorney, is even going as far to sponsor town hall meetings in Florida.

"Recent negative publicity regarding the BP oil spill has resulted in canceled reservations throughout the Florida Keys and loss of income," the website states.

"If your business has been negatively affected with canceled reservations, or you expect that it may be in the future, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you attend a meeting Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Marriott Key West to learn your rights to file legal claims for compensation."

While Coon's focal point lies in Florida, Buzbee, a Houston attorney, has been actively working Texas, drumming up more than 100 clients so far.

Buzbee, who recently appeared on Good Morning America and ABC Nightline, boasts that "The Buzbee Law Firm continues to take the lead in the BP-Transocean litigation," according to the firm's website.

"This is going to be the largest case in the history of the United States, even bigger than the tobacco cases," Buzbee is quoted as saying in a May 24 Business Insider article. "There will be thousands and thousands and thousands of cases."

Across state lines, Louisiana attorney Daniel Becnel Jr. has filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Washington to combine oil spill cases in an MDL court hoping to ease litigation.

On behalf of area seafood restaurants, BP lawsuits have already been filed in Jefferson and Galveston counties by respectively the Provost Umphrey and Arnold & Itkin law firms.

Dozens of the other law firms are trolling for oil spill clients on their websites, including Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon in Florida; the Lavis Law Firm in New Orleans; and the Pittman Firm based Panama City.

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