Kyle Barnett Sep. 30, 2013, 8:32am

NEW ORLEANS – The federal courts in Louisiana have announced they will stay open for at least two weeks should a government shutdown occur if Congress cannot come to an agreement on a budget bill by the end of Tuesday.

A statement from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana was released last week concerning the potential for a shutdown.

The announcement is particularly salient for litigants and observers of the second phase of the BP oil spill trial set to begin today. This phase of trial will determine the amount of fines to be assessed against BP under the Clean Water Act by analyzing the actions in stopping the release of oil and gasses and calculating the amount of oil released.

In case a budget agreement is not reached, the court has indicated it will stay open for at least operating days and will reassess the situation on Oct. 15.

“All proceedings and deadlines remain in effect as scheduled, unless otherwise advised. Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) will remain in operation for the electronic filing of documents with courts,” the statement said.

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