BP accused Barbier of defying the appellate court’s directive to stop hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement payments that BP alleges are flowing to undeserving claimants in the Gulf region. The next day, Barbier issued an 11-page order that condemns the company for knowingly spurning a settlement its own lawyers helped craft.

The implication of the judge’s statement was that BP has sought to undermine the pact—and his authority—simply because the settlement has turned out to be more expensive than the company anticipated.


A decade ago, a slim majority of the New Orleans area’s poor population — 55 percent — still lived in the city itself. Today, the ratio has flipped. A slightly greater majority of the area’s poor people — roughly 59 percent — call the suburbs home.

If a lesson may be rescued from LeBeau’s ruins, perhaps it should be carpe diem. Nearly every historically aware person who knew of this building had a sense of its exceptional nature — and of its gross under-appreciation and utilization. We also recognized that it was vulnerable to any number of threats. Yet we did not seize the moment and save it.

Charles Maldonado

Charles Maldonado is the editor of The Lens. He previously worked as The Lens' government accountability reporter, covering local politics and criminal justice. Prior to joining The Lens, he worked for...