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9 Jan 2012

Steve Korris, Southeast Texas Record [USA]

Halliburton: Disqualify attorneys as well as BP experts [USA]

Disqualification of BP's cement experts from Deepwater Horizon litigation should extend to lawyers who gained information from the experts, Halliburton Energy Services pleaded in federal court...Halliburton asked Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan to disqualify all counsel involved with CSI Technologies of Houston, owner Fred Sabins and engineer Michael Viator. "The attorneys who worked with Sabins and CSI will inevitably taint the substitute expert," Donald Godwin of Dallas wrote. "BP's counsel necessarily discussed and analyzed Sabins' opinions with him in detail as he developed his expert reports, which were served after he employed Viator," he wrote. "Consequently, any counsel having direct contact with Sabins and CSI are equally tainted, and therefore constitute a potential source of contamination of the substitute expert," he wrote. Shushan disqualified Sabins and his firm on Dec. 8, writing that his decision to hire Viator was the sole cause for her decision. Viator had worked at Halliburton, developing software and strategy for its defense against BP's claims that the failure of its cement caused the explosion.