Law Professor Mitchell Crusto Analyzes BP Fund and Explores New Value Direction for Constitutional Law through Empathetic Dialogues

Law Professor Mitch Crusto analyzed the $20 billion BP Fund and its relationship to Multi-District Litigation at the Loyola symposium, “The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill—A Billion Pound Dossier” held on Friday, September 17, 2010. Crusto’s presentation, entitled “The BP Fund: Justice Facilitated or Justice Denied?” was a part of a panel on environmental litigation offering legal perspectives of different stakeholders including private and public claimants, groups of claims, causes of action, and litigation strategies. The Symposium was initiated by Stuart H. Smith, J.D. ’86, a longtime Loyola supporter and environmental advocate (Smith Stag, L.L.C.) and facilitated by Loyola Law faculty Professor Markus Puder, Ph.D. Crusto concluded that the BP Fund is not comprehensive, is underfunded, poorly managed, a public relations gimmick, and an inadequate substitute for the litigation process. He hoped that the Fund’s managers would immediately expedite cash payments to claimants. Crusto has been quoted in newspapers and appeared on television and radio relative to the BP Fund, including on National Public Radio.

Law Professor Mitch Crusto explored new directions for constitutional law at the Third National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey, September 11, 2010. Crusto’s presentation, entitled “Empathetic Dialogues: Toward Value Principles in Constitutional Law,” was a part of a panel on “A Constitution of Values: Structure and the Ends of Governmental Authority in a Post-Racial Age.” Using Biblical references to Abraham’s dialogue with God on the injustice of the proposed killing of innocent people in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Crusto posited that judges have a moral obligation to seek justice in their decisions. He explained that empathetic dialogues are embedded in the Constitution as a proven judicial means of achieving value principles of constitutional law.