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Plaintiffs' committee wants past testimony admitted in BP suits [USA]

Plaintiff lawyers preparing for trial over liability for the Deepwater Horizon explosion seek to admit past testimony of witnesses who now refuse to testify because they might incriminate themselves...[L]eaders of a plaintiff committee urged U. S. District Judge Carl Barbier to allow witness statements from a report of a U.S. Coast Guard investigation board. Attorneys James Roy of Domengeaux Wright Roy & Edwards in Lafayette and Stephen Herman of Herman, Herman Katz & Cotlar in New Orleans asked Barbier to grant an exception to the rule against hearsay. "Because a witness who invokes the Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination is deemed unavailable under the federal rules of evidence, previous testimony before the board is admissible at trial," they wrote. They conceded that Barbier can't admit the full report as evidence, but they asked him to admit it for impeachment purposes. They also asked him to admit "photographs and other raw materials" from it.

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