Posts Tagged ‘Martin Feldman’

Judge Sold Exxon Stock 5 Hours Before Lifting Drilling Ban

June 27, 2010

Judge Sold Exxon Stock 5 Hours Before Lifting Drilling Ban

Federal Judge Martin Leach-Cross Feldman engaged in an oil spill cleanup of his own last week. Five hours before he rendered his decision blocking the six-month moratorium on deep-water Gulf oil drilling, Judge Feldman sold his personal holdings of Exxon Mobil stock. Exxon was not a party to the case under consideration but will directly benefit from the Judge’s action.

Judge Feldman may have lost a few dollars on the sale; he definitely lost much more in credibility. “The judicial canons require that judges be aware of their investments,” wrote Steven Mufson and Joe Stephens in the Washington Post:

“Judicial ethicists said that, had he been aware of his holdings, Feldman should have disclosed the ownership or recused himself at the case’s outset if he thought it posed a conflict or raised questions about his impartiality. The court docket indicates that Feldman signed several orders before the sale.

“‘I’ve never heard of a situation like this,’ said Jeffrey M. Shaman, a judicial ethics specialist and law professor at DePaul University.

“The judge may have thought the stock did not create a substantial conflict, legal analysts said, but the fact that he apparently felt compelled to sell the stock and disclose it could be seen as indicating otherwise.


Louisiana Judge Deep Into Offshore Oil

June 23, 2010

Louisiana Judge Deep Into Offshore Oil

Federal Judge Martin L.C. Feldman blocked President Obama’s six month moratorium on deep-water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Judge Feldman knows lots about offshore drilling: he invests in it.

According to his last financial disclosure form, Reagan appointee Martin Feldman owns shares in Deepwater owner/operator Transocean and drilling service providers Parker Drilling and Rowan Companies, Inc. as well as offshore developer ATP Oil & Gas Corporation. During the report period, Judge Feldman cashed in his shares in Deepwater Horizon contractor Halliburton and Hercules Offshore.

“If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are?” wrote Judge Feldman. Obviously, the judge has not invested in Cameron International Corp., the company that manufactured the Blowout Prevention Valves on the Deepwater Horizon.