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On Thursday, July 8, 2010, Venable partner John Cooney, along with co-counsel from Louisiana-based firm Jones Walker, secured a favorable decision in a Federal Appeals Court on behalf of a group of plaintiffs seeking to lift the six-month offshore deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.

The original moratorium was imposed by the Secretary of the Interior in response to the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire. On June 22, the Venable and Jones Walker team won a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against the moratorium. The government then took an emergency request to the Fifth Circuit Court of Federal Appeals, which refused to stay that injunction.

Cooney, whose clients provide a myriad of services to support offshore oil and gas drilling in the Gulf, was quoted in Associated Press and Agence France Presse stories saying the drilling ban is a "one-size-fits-all device that keeps everybody out of the market."

"The industry leader is treated the same way as the industry laggard," Cooney said.