GULFPORT, Miss.- The jury selection has begun for the federal trial of a San Antonio attorney and six others who are accused of helping boost his client list during the BP oil spill court case.
The trial will begin Monday in Gulfport. Mike Watts will be joined by two non-attorney members in his law firm along with contract workers who are assisting on the case. Prosecutors claim the team invented victims or used peoples names without permission in order to secure a spot on the legal team for BP and even inflate legal fee charges.
Recently, 22 of the 95 charges against Watts and the others accused have been dropped, bringing the total charges to 73.
The trial could take anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks, according to Judge Louis Guirola Jr. However, the first days will be short as jurors are selected.
Around 70-80 potential jurors will fill out a questionnaire and then be let off for the rest of the day. All attorneys on the case will review the answers and cut down the numbers as soon as they can.