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Apr 30, 2010

By Brendan Kirby on

MOBILE, Ala. -- Alabama's attorney general, who plans to meet here Sunday with his counterparts from four other Gulf Coast states, urged trial lawyers today to hold their fire.

Attorney General Troy King will discuss plans to hold BP Plc accountable for the costs of last week's drilling rig explosion that has caused an ever-growing oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. In the meantime, though, King said in a prepared statement that attorneys should refrain from rushing to court.

Troy King ... to discuss spill with counterparts in Mobile. "This is not a time for class-action lawsuits and profit taking," he said in a statement. "This is a time of preparedness and prayer."

That has not stopped some of the state's most prominent lawyers from filing lawsuits, however. As of Friday afternoon, 10 separate class-action suits had been filed in Mobile's federal court, alone, against BP Plc and other companies involved with the Deepwater Horizon.

Prominent Mobile lawyer Robert Cunningham, whose firm has filed three class-action federal lawsuits in Mobile and another two in Florida, said he was not content to wait for BP to make good on its promises to compensate businesses and residents who stand to suffer great losses.

He pointed to the experience of victim of a 1989 oil tanker spill in Alaska.

"If you'll look back to the Exxon Valdez, you'll see that Exxon said the same thing," he said.

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