Conference call set up for BP MDL experiences technical difficulties

By Alejandro de los Rios | Oct 16, 2010


A conference call set up through AT&T to patch in out-of-town lawyers at a BP multi-district litigation (MDL) status conference experienced technical difficulties, which AT&T couldn't resolve in time for the hearing Oct. 15.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier who presides over the MDL in the Eastern District of Louisiana set up the open conference call line for anyone who couldn't make it to New Orleans but wished to listen in on the hearing.

A spokesperson for Barbier confirmed that the AT&T line was the source of the problem. The spokesperson also said there was no way to determine how many people were blocked out from hearing the status conference because it was an open line.

Later in the hearing, Department of Justice attorney Mike Underhill joked that his department is running behind in the forensic investigation of the failed blowout preventer that caused the massive oil spill in the Gulf, but they are still "doing a better job than AT&T did this morning."

Barbier responded by joking that next time the court would switch to Verizon to set up conference calls.

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