Bivins & Hemenway Managing Partner Interviewed Regarding Legal Ramifications of BP Oil Disaster

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Bivins & Hemenway Managing Partner Robert W. Bivins interviewed by 540 WFLA Radio regarding legal ramifications of the BP Oil Disaster.

On June 16, 2010, Robert W. Bivins, Managing Partner of the commercial law firm of Bivins & Hemenway, P.A., based in Valrico, Florida, was interviewed by host Bud Hedinger live on Orlando-based radio station 540 WFLA ( as an expert commentator and environmental attorney on the legal ramifications of the BP oil disaster.

During the radio interview, Bivins discussed his viewpoints as a Floridian and an experienced environmental law attorney as the BP oil disaster reached day 58, commenting that the view on the ground in coastal areas impacted by the oil is different than what the President suggested in his June 15, 2010, speech from the Oval Office. More specifically, Bivins feels that the overall response on the ground to the spill has been slow and disorganized at best, contrary to the President’s assertion that things have been under control from day one. Bivins also noted that the disaster has already started moving into the legal realm. In May, Transocean, Ltd., the owner of the Deep Water Horizon rig, filed in Texas federal court (Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(h)) seeking a limitation of liability, although that effort was not particularly successful. Additionally, the Governor of Florida has appointed a Florida attorney to evaluate a possible lawsuit against BP by that State.

One of Bivins’ primary concerns regarding the President’s speech was a fear that the administration risks “taking [its] eye off the ball.” In other words, if the President begins focusing on a legislative agenda, there will likely be a shift of focus by the administration away from the immediate problem at hand, which is to stop the leak and defend the gulf coast, and ultimately the United States east coast, against contamination. Bivins is also concerned that a preliminary rush to the courts will hasten a possible BP bankruptcy filing. Although there are laws in place that could limit the amount of liability for BP, Bivins does not believe the limitations will ultimately protect BP from mass tort claims relating to the spill exceeding its ability to pay. Bivins ended his interview by discussing how claims against BP might be handled in a bankruptcy setting and the likelihood that, at the end of the day, the assertion that BP will be able to fully reimburse all impacted parties and pay all spill remediation costs resulting from the spill will prove to be misleading.

To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here (

Robert W. ("Bob") Bivins ( is a founding partner and the managing partner of Bivins & Hemenway, P.A. ( Bob has held an "AV" rating from Martindale Hubbell for 15 years, and has been listed as a Florida Super Lawyer two consecutive years. Bob is a third generation Tampa Bay area resident, who in addition to his legal practice is also involved in property management, cattle ranching, and other agricultural enterprises. Bob's practice focuses on commercial, business law, and real estate transactions.

The law firm of Bivins & Hemenway, P.A. ( is a member of the International Society of Primerus Law Firms (Primerus). Primerus ( is the leading alliance of small and medium sized, top-rated, independent firms. With over 150 law firms located in the U.S., Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Mexico and Switzerland, Primerus firms provide clients with responsive, high quality, partner-level service for much less than what large law firms charge. All Primerus law firms are: AV- rated using the Martindale-Hubbell peer review service; screened for excellence; and audited annually for continued quality.


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