In this episode of Magnum J.D. the conclusion to our two hour special: Pimpin’ ain’t easy so let’s hop aboard the ho’ train.

BP dropped its wallet in the wrong neighborhood. ~ Member of the national media recounting his favorite BP quote heard during the oil spill.

As one of the world’s leading companies, we have a responsibility to set high standards: to be, and be seen to be, a business which is committed to integrity. In a complex global business environment like ours, that’s not always easy. Our code of conduct is designed to help us achieve this.

Our code of conduct is the cornerstone of our commitment to integrity. As Bob Dudley, our group chief executive, affirmed: “Our reputation, and therefore our future as a business, depends on each of us, everywhere, every day, taking personal responsibility for the conduct of BP’s business”. The BP code of conduct is an essential tool to help our people meet this aspiration. The code summarizes our standards for the way we behave. All our employees must follow the code of conduct. It clearly defines what we expect of our business and our people, regardless of location and background. Ultimately it is about helping BP people to do the right thing.

And we have this from Magnum’s contract with BP:

BP Legal expects that the Firm will adhere to BP’s Code of Conduct when providing services to BP

But it actually gets better than that as we have this from Magnum’s contract with BP.

Any conflicts of interest must be disclosed to BP and waived in writing prior to beginning this retention, and in the future as soon as the conflict or potential conflict becomes known. Prior to execution of this letter agreement, we expect that you have investigated and resolved any potential conflicts of interest you may have in representing BP.

It is important that you are sensitive to both direct conflicts and indirect conflicts, Le., conflicts that may arise from the Firm’s advocacy of other clients’ positions which conflict with BP’s business objectives or interests. We expect that the Firm will also not take public positions adverse to BP (e.g., in litigation or administrative proceedings). If your firm already represents competitors of BP, that fact should be made known to BP Legal.

At this point we’ll leave aside the rumor that Magnum also is working the spill for Buddy Caldwell’s office as the public records requests have come up empty as Caldwell is reportedly not running them through the Department of Finance and Administration as required but what about all the people his firm signed up to sue BP? Well you give them to firm’s of counsel Eric O’Bell and pretend he isn’t affiliated with the firm that’s what. It’s simple junior, computer generate some O’Bell letterhead using his GHW direct line as his phone number and the 2nd firm fax line as his fax number.

And what services will Magnum and his partner James Williams be providing BP per the contract dated October 28, 2010?

BP engages the firm to provide legally privileged advice and counsel related to claims brought by government entities, including but not necessarily limited to claims brought by the State of Louisiana and other local government entities. The Firm will advise BP and will, at BP’s sole discretion, represent BP in negotiations with the government entities.

Shelby Hodges / Culturemap Houston

And what kind of access did the bargain basement retainer fee of $1.115 million dollars purchase for BP? You mean besides almost every judge in the 24th JDC including sold out newbies like Ray Steib and the CDC in NOLA? There is Louisiana Gov Bobby Jindal for starters both before and after signing the contract.  And them Bobby Jindal fundraisers at $1,000 a plate insure ol’ Jindy has Mags on speed dial.  How about the under federal investigation/Louisiana Lite Gov candidate Billy Nungesser and that doesn’t count Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell who helped Magnum and Kevin Costner shakedown BP last summer on that oil water separator that was next to useless combating the impacts of the spill.

And this brings us back to BP’s Code of Conduct which is evidently some sort of sick inside joke as BP America’s Mark Holstein certainly knows all about the many conflicts of interest Magnum brings to the table. That said this is money well spent by BP because they will probably save way more than the cool million they paid to “buffers” like Magnum to spread the wealth among the politicos that will determine how aggressively BP is pursued for the damages they caused from their Macondo Well blowout. I particularly loved this excerpt from the Code of Conduct Chapter titled “Business Partners“:

The exchange of gifts and entertainment can build goodwill in business relationships, but some gifts and entertainment can create improper influence (or the appearance of improper influence). Some can even be seen as bribes that tarnish BP’s reputation for fair dealing or break the law.

‘Gifts and entertainment’ means anything of value, e.g. discounts, loans, favourable terms on any product or service, services, prizes, transportation, use of another company’s vehicles, use of vacation facilities, stocks or other securities, participation in stock offerings, home improvements, tickets, and gift certificates.

Gifts and entertainment between BP employees and others fall into three categories • Those that are usually acceptable and that you may approve yourself. • Those that are never acceptable. • Those that may be acceptable but require prior approval.

Usually acceptable self-approval test Some gifts and entertainment are sufficiently modest that they do not require prior approval. Subject to your applying a ‘self-approval test’ (see below), the following are usually acceptable without prior approval: • Meals: modest occasional meals with someone with whom we do business. • Entertainment: occasional attendance at ordinary sports, theatre and other cultural events. • Gifts: gifts of nominal value, such as pens, calendars, or small promotional items.

And of course we have this:

Rules for gifts and entertainment involving government officials Governments in some parts of the world have substantially more stringent requirements regarding gifts and entertainment, and breaches of these rules can be serious offences. If you deal with a government, make sure you know the rules that apply to your circumstances. Seek advice from BP legal, if in doubt.

Now perhaps everyone, including those in the GOP that groused after the first fundraiser Magnum put on for ol’ Jindy understands why a good ol’ GOP boy like Jindy is cavorting with an ethicless trial lawyer in Magnum. The Benjamins trump ideology with most politicians Bobby Jindal included.

So I’m certain Bobby Jindal will make BP a great business partner thanks in part to BP’s million dollar men Magnum J.D. and his partner James Williams.  I think we’re also seeing a big reason why there was a mass exodus of lawyers from the once storied but now sullied firm of the late legendary litigator Wendell Gauthier. Click the picture below to get the 4 page pdf of Magnum’s contract with Mark Holstein and BP.


15 thoughts on “In this episode of Magnum J.D. the conclusion to our two hour special: Pimpin’ ain’t easy so let’s hop aboard the ho’ train.”

  1. I am just fucking sick at reading this contract. $600 per hour for a lawyer who could not find his way to the courthouse if his life depended on it. WTF! I mean, I guess he doesn’t need to go to the courthouse, since every fucking judge has his/her fundraiser run by Magnum and he can just talk to the judge there about BP’s issues. And, a $1 million retainer. Are you kidding me?

    This process is just so corrupt and ODC will just do nothing about it.

  2. I have solictied reaction to this post from Mr Mark Holstein at BP. If he comments I’ll be certain to pass along any on the record remarks he might have.


  3. Wow, this is a masterpiece. Fox 8 removed Val Bracy’s Magnum story advertising for claims against BP from its archives.

  4. My personal favorite:

    “In the event that the Firm is terminated or the work on the matter concludes before the
    retention fee is exhausted, the Firm shall retain the balance of the retention fee.”

    I guess this is quantum meruit BP style. If Letten does not take action, shame on him.

  5. William Tell permalink
    December 26, 2010 5:16 pm

    Fifthcircuitjoke-If the facts are as you have written, I agree that Caldwell

  6. Let me see if I have this right.

    A lawyer solitics, advertises for, receives and represents plaintiffs with claims against a company.

    And then, without terminating his representation of those people, signs a retainer agreement with the defendant in those claims.

    Is that it?

    Is that what has happened here?

    And meanwhile certain politicians and judges, elected representatives of our state and its people who have suffered a grievous harm from that same company, receive monies – dollars – in contributions and more by means of major fundraising, from a man (the same man as above) who has been hired and paid over a million dollars (in addition to more by means of a business venture selling to that same company a device possibly described as quackery) by the same company?

    Is any of this inaccurate?

    1. You succinctly nailed it Roche. You may remember Team Magnum bitched about the case files his former partners took with them when they left in a pleading.

      Of course we conclusively closed the circle with this post yesterday and yes I think this now goes way beyond just a few unethical lawyers that play both sides against the middle.


  7. Pardon me for being obtuse, but I’m confused. Although the retention agreement does not say what law is applicable, let’s assume Louisiana law is applicable since the firm’s services will be provided in Louisiana. Certain “conflicts of interests” are NOT WAIVABLE in Louisiana, so it is important to know precisely what Magnum has been hired to do, and for whom. For instance, Magnum could not represent oil spill plaintiffs and BP simultaneously, which may explain the exodus of lawyers from the firm after BP hired the firm (but “For What”?). Similarly, Magnum could not represent the State as a plaintiff against BP and BP simultaneously. However, it seems to me that BP could have hired Magnum to represent BP in negotiations with the State, so long as that representation did not present Magnum with a “non-waivable” conflict of interests due to his representation of the State in other matters. I frankly think we need much more information before jumping to conclusions. Ashton O’Dwyer.

  8. AOD: “it is important to know precisely what Magnum has been hired to do, and for whom”…

    …exactly what I was thinking.

    Is he litigating? Probably not.

    “Advising” BP? For a million bucks?

    What did they get Edwin Edwards for? Basically “lobbying” while under the influence (getting a cut) and without a license.

    1. Ashton did you read the Continental suit against GHW?

      O’Bell is listed on GHW’s policy just like he was another attorney there.

      Tell me Ashton is it OK to represent Chad Jones in a suit against the RTA while doing RTA defense work? O’Bell again and I have not rolled that one out yet.

      What I still need is the contract with Buddy Caldwell and it appears to be some sort of open secret. Maybe Mags can advise both Caldwell and Holstein. Heck maybe he can save them the trouble and simply negotiate with himself.


  9. To SOP: I really haven’ studied all of this like you have. All I’m saying is that we really do not have all of the facts. I do know that BP’s General Counsel in charge of litigation (Mr. Holstein) is not about to put himself or his multi-National client in jeopardy, while the Courts are still dealing with litigation involving one of the biggest discharges of oil into the enviornment in recorded history. There may be something in the papers which throws magnum under the bus, but I haven’t seen it yet, and would seriously doubt that Holstein played in orchestrating that scenario. As for the Continental suit, yes I skimmed over it, but was pre-occupied with looking for whether Magnum might make an argument that “the duty to defend is greater than the duty to indemnify”, and whether Magnum had performed ANY services which, arguably, might be covered under a professional liability policy. I saw neither, and more than that I saw him as a principal in a commercial venture. I’d sure like to see PRECISELY what BP has delivered to Magnum as his “brief” or “instructions”. Ditto for what Caldwell has charged him to accomplish on behalf of the State. Ashton.

  10. Sop, I can’t wait for you to publish the Chad Jones suit. He’s probably going to claim a Beyounce look-a-like in the street car distracted his attention while doing 100 MPH in his SUV. Or maybe the pole he struck on the RTA right of way was too close to the road and his SUV when he lost control talking to his passengers or on the phone .

    Mr. Chad you could have helped the Tigers in Tigertown in your senior year but you went for the $$$$$, bought an expensive SUV and did the town while waiting to sign your multi-million contract.

    So now you sue the RTA, probably NOLA , the NFL, the USA etc.for your partying recklessness. Give me a break Chad, didn’t your agent have you buy some professional disability insurance to cover possible disability on or off the field.

    Chad have some personal Tiger dignity and integrity, drop your BS suit which makes you look like a Morris Bart golddigger, go back to Tigertown and get your education while you are healing up to hopefully resume your career

    No, then go get AFLACed.


Comments are closed.