Daily Briefs . . .

 U.S. Supreme Court rejects BP appeal  of spill settlement 

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Supreme Court is leaving in place BP’s multibillion-dollar settlement with lawyers for businesses and residents over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The justices did not comment Monday in rejecting the London-based oil giant’s arguments that lower courts misinterpreted settlement terms and put BP on the hook to pay inflated and bogus claims by businesses.
The court’s decision makes the economic and property damage settlement final, starting a six-month deadline for filing claims, said plaintiffs’ attorney Joe Rice of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

BP PLC wanted the court to consider whether people and businesses seeking payments under the settlement included some who haven’t actually suffered any injury related to the spill.

A district court and an appeals court ruled that, under the settlement BP agreed to, businesses do not have to prove they were directly harmed by the spill to collect money — only that they made less money in the three to eight months after the spill than in a comparable pre-spill period.

BP’s Macondo well blew up on April 20, 2010, killing 11 men. An estimated 103 million to 176 million gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico before the mile-deep well was capped July 15, 2010. Lawyers for BP and the government agree that 34 million gallons was captured before it could pollute coastal marshes and fishing grounds.

The settlement doesn’t have a cap, but BP initially estimated that it would pay roughly $7.8 billion to resolve the claims. The company said it can no longer give a reliable estimate for total cost. The company, which made separate settlements for medical claims and seafood-related business claims, has paid more than $13 billion in claims by individuals, businesses and government entities and another $14 billion-plus on response and cleanup, according to its oil spill website.

DMBA to hold Jingle Mingle Holiday Party

Ring in the holiday season with the DMBA at it’s annual Jingle Mingle, Thursday, Dec. 11, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the District Bar and Grill, 150 W. Jefferson, Suite 125 (corner of Shelby and Larned), Detroit. Registration is just $35 for DMBA members, $45 for non-members, and includes light appetizers and one drink ticket. Members of the judiciary are welcome to join us as our guest., but are asked to register online. For more information, contact Mitzy Sharp Futro at msharpfutro@detroitlawyer.org or 313-961-6120 x201.

Retirement party for Judges Borman and Ziolkowski on Dec. 12

A retirement party will be held from 1-3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, for Wayne County Judges Susan D. Borman and Robert L. Ziolkowski in the Aphrodite Room in the Atheneum Suites Hotel in Greektown. Tickets for the luncheon buffet are $25. For tickets or more information, call Lorri Cary at (586) 879-3190, Tyler Phillips at (989) 277-2051 or Margie Bamonte at (313) 318-0183.