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Venable partner John Cooney, along with co-counsel from Louisiana-based firm Jones Walker, secured a favorable decision for their client, Hornbeck Offshore Services, in U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana when Judge Martin Feldman refused an Obama Administration request to throw out a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Administration's first deepwater drilling moratorium.

The Administration argued that the case should be thrown out because a second ban on deepwater drilling was enacted on July 12, replacing the original ban that was enacted on April 20.

The second moratorium affects “precisely the same rigs and precisely the same deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as did the first moratorium,” Feldman said.

The judge ruled Venable's client would have likely been able to prove the government acted arbitrarily when it shut down deepwater drilling for six months. He also stated that the second moratorium “arguably fashions no substantial changes from the first moratorium.”