Published: Opinion, al.com
By Robert Cunningham

Have you ever witnessed the incredible spectacle of a convicted felon bragging about the fact that he is complying with the terms of his probation?

And doing it on television in a series of multi-million dollar ads?

You may think you have never witnessed such unmitigated arrogance. But, if you have seen the never ending onslaught of BP television ads, then you have seen just that.

BP has saturated the airways for months with ads bragging that it has now created "a state of the art monitoring center where experts watch over all our drilling activity..."

Well, guess what. On January 29, 2013, BP pled guilty to eleven felonies as a result of the deaths of the eleven men who died in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. BP also pled guilty to obstruction of justice. The terms of its guilty plea mandated, among other things, that "the defendant shall maintain a real-time drilling operations monitoring center at its Houston office or other appropriate location."

If BP's ads told the complete truth, they would inform the public that as a result of their felony guilty plea they have been forced to do what they should have been doing long before the Deepwater Horizon explosion and environmental disaster ever occurred.

Instead, we are continually inundated with these self-laudatory ads while on other fronts BP attacks the settlement it agreed to, the claimants who are participating, the claims administrator appointed with BP's agreement, and the judicial system working nonstop to deal with the gigantic legal mess created by BP.

Some felons express genuine remorse for their crimes. Some felons quietly serve their time, pay their debt to society and move on. Not BP.

So, the next time a BP ad pops up on the screen, just enjoy it for its comedic value while at the same time wishing you could watch video of BP reporting to its probation officer as it is required to do for the next 5 years.

Robert "Bobo" Cunningham is a senior partner with the Mobile lawfirm Cunningham Bounds, and was one of the lead plaintiff's attorneys in the litigation that resulted in the BP settlement.)

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