Oil and gas producers beware.
Earlier this week, Judge Janice Clark ruled against the oil and gas industry. The judge did not issue her own ruling, but instead took the position, word for word, of the Attorney General and his lawyers.
The only winners in Judge Janice Clark’s ruling are private trial lawyers who will become wildly rich from suing oil and gas companies.
This is not surprising given that in the middle of the trial, the defense attorneys hosted a fundraising event for Judge Clark’s re-election campaign.
The heart of the issue is contingency fees for a handful of private lawyers that could receive a future payday of hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions. We believe that Judge Clark’s ruling this week ignores Louisiana’s constitution.
Simply put, these contingency fee contracts violate state laws. Although Judge Clark may have been confused about this issue, LOGA’s position is quite clear. We believe SLFPA-E is a state agency, and therefore, any funds received belong to the state of Louisiana.
Today’s hostile litigious climate has to be remedied. We have already lost 30,000 oil and gas jobs due to legacy lawsuits, according to an LSU study. We cannot allow this to continue.
This is not over. LOGA’s next step is to appeal, and we feel confident that the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals will recognize the importance of this issue and merit of our arguments.
We thank you for your continued support. This is only the first round of a long process to bring some sanity to the legal environment in Louisiana.
We’ll keep you up to date on developments.