This afternoon the president gave a press conference concerning the administration’s response to the BP oil spill. Were the president my client, he would have been “fired” on the spot, and here’s why.
President Obama said quite clearly, “the federal government has been in charge since day one”. Forgetting for the moment that no one believes that to be remotely true, he has handed BP a partial defense to damage claims on a “silver platter”.
The trial of damage claims will go something like this. BP will freely admit, as it has to, that it is responsible for the explosion. But, as a result of the president’s statements, it will also be able to now say to the jury, look, the federal government, not BP, was in charge of stopping the spill and the resulting damage from day one. Had we, BP, been in charge, we could have stopped the leak much sooner, and there would have been far less damage. But, our hands were tied by the federal government.
This is the part in any trial where the attorney puts his head in his hands, and tries to pretend that nothing “bad” just happened.
You never tell someone that you are in charge, particularly when you are not, unless you want to bear some of the responsibility for the damage.