Professor David Logan on whether BP's reduced fine exposure for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill could push the case into settlement talks.

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Logan on Possibility of BP Settlement

Professor David Logan on whether BP's reduced fine exposure for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill could push the case into settlement talks.

From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:  “Could BP, Feds settle in massive 2010 oil spill civil case?” by Jennifer Larino

A shrimp boat modified as an oil skimmer NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 16, 2015 - BP faces a top fine of $13.7 billion for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, down from a possible $18 billion after a federal judge ruled Thursday that the spill was smaller than the federal government had estimated. […]

But could the latest ruling push both sides into settlement talks?

"Lawyers are intrinsically conservative," said David Logan, a law professor at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island who has been following the trial. "A settlement gives finality in return for perhaps unrealistic hopes that everything in a complex case will break your way."

Logan said the prospect of a settlement is always a reality in complex litigation. A major ruling like the one on Thursday gives each party a chance to pick up the phone without giving the appearance they lack confidence in their case, he said.

"From this second until this goes to the highest court possible, there is always the possibility of a settlement," Logan said. "That said, there are a lot of angles here that we may not be aware of."

For full story, click here.