Be a First Responder to the disaster LSU created!

Be a First Responder! Read what MRGO attorney Pierce O’Donnell had to say about the decision LSU made to terminate Ivor van Heerden.

On the eve of the historic Robinson v. United States trial set to begin next Monday, one of the Army Corps’ most vocal and knowledgeable critics has been fired. Dr. Ivor van Heerden, a research professor at Louisiana State University, was recently informed that his contract would not be renewed. The professor has been sharply critical of the Corps’ mismanagement of the flood protection system that was supposed to protect Greater New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. ..

LSU is the beneficiary of substantial research grants from the Army Corps. The Chancellor and his minions have made no bones about the fact that van Heerden was rocking the boat by biting the hand that fed the university’s coffers.

Dr. van Heerden has also served as a valued scientific consultant to our trial team in the Robinson case. LSU prohibited him from being a testifying expert at our trial. It is hard enough to defeat the most powerful adversary—the United States of America that prints the money and makes the laws—but heavy-handed tactics to suppress the truth make the challenge even more daunting.

This story is not finished.

If you’re wired for change, follow the link and join Steve in signing on – and, if you’re in New Orleans, join Levees.org for the rally tomorrow, .

Judge Duval rules – and says so in an Order

No doubt about it, Judge Duval rules his court – and yesterday, he made that perfectly clear in an Order.

IT IS ORDERED that all parties are put on notice that the Court is not pleased with the failure of the parties to meet the deadlines set forth. In addition, concerning the exhibit objections, while the form of the objections filed by Plaintiffs is not in keeping with the normal requirements, the Court will rule on these forthwith. Furthermore, the Court hopes that the United States realizes that the Court will rely on its representation that the objections to Plaintiffs’ exhibits will not be overly burdensome. In the event that the United States’ objections
at trial become overly burdensome, the Court will withdraw its permission to wait until an exhibit is introduced at trial to raise any evidentiary objection the Court may have.

The case is the largest ever for the Government – according to these data posted in February

“At last count, more than 1.6 million images of hard-copy pages had been produced to the plaintiffs and other Katrina litigants. More than 15 terabytes of electronically stored information had been produced, the equivalent of 912 million pages of information. On the basis of this production, the litigation can be described as the largest ever in which the United States has been involved.”

The record shows Judge Duval has been sensitive to the size of the case.  Continue reading “Judge Duval rules – and says so in an Order”

Will sidecar with no engine put Swiss Re out of race?

(Indeed historically the industry was renowned for reinsurance contracts that came with confidential ’side letters’, hidden from regulators, promising in legally binding terms that their contracts would never be exercised.)

Here’s the story: A lack of surety: Swiss Re and the trade credit collapse. h/t Brian for link Financial Times

The point is that forms of credit – trust – are critical to lubricating trade. The collapse of the Baltic Dry Index months ago was the thin end of the wedge: global shipping ground to a halt as participants in the market found themselves unable to secure crucial letters of credit from banks and commodity brokers that mitigated counterparty risk.

In fact, as with so much in this crisis, much of the recent ructions in trade credit can be traced back to the activities of very small specialist units at financial sector firms. In the case of trade credit and surety, the activities of the reinsurers are crucial. And the reinsurers are pulling back.

FT Alphaville understands that Swiss Re has cut 45 of 65 jobs in its credit and reinsurance department, with a view, we believe to quitting the trade credit insurance and surety bond reinsurance sector entirely by year end. Continue reading “Will sidecar with no engine put Swiss Re out of race?”