Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Who judges the judges?

Here's a link to the financial disclosure form of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman, who made the recent decision on the offshore oil and gas drilling moratorium

The form was filed in 2009 for the the calendar year 2008.  As yet, his 2009 disclosures don't appear to be posted online.

Perusing the list, I noted there are 141 line-items of transactions and holdings reported for about 120 companies/instruments (depending on how you count multiple investments in GNMA etc.).  Of the reported investments, there are 21 energy companies (all oil and gas except for a single coal company) accounting for 31 transactions.  The disclosure doesn't allow you to find out what fraction of his total wealth is in energy, but it is clear that somewhere between 15-17% of his investment transactions have involved companies involved in the energy sector.

At what point should a judge recuse himself from a case?

Extracted Data
Numbers are the line-items in the disclosure form

Energy stocks held by Judge Feldman at the end of 2008 

16. Ocean Energy Notes (offshore oil/gas exploration)
19. Transocean (offshore drilling)
55. Peabody Energy (coal)
92.  Atlas Energy (gas production)
106. EV energy partners (oil/gas operating company)
117. BPZ resources (oil/gas exploration & production)
118 El Paso Corp (natural gas)

Energy stocks bought by Judge Feldman prior to 2008 and sold during 2008

35. Quicksilver Resources (oil/gas exploration and production)
50, 54.  Prospect Energy (financing for energy industry)
53. Provident Energy (oil/gas holding)
70.  Haliburton (oil/gas services)
84.  RPC Inc.  (oil/gas services)
80.  Pengrowth energy trust (Canadian energy producer)

Energy stocks bought/sold by Judge Feldman in 2008

86,87. Hercules Offshore (offshore drill rig operator in Gulf of Mexico) - bought/sold
95,96.  Parker Drilling Company (contract drilling and services) - bought/sold
102,103,104. TXCO Resources (oil/gas exploration and production) - bought/sold
113, 114. Rowan Companies (Drilling Services) - bought/sold
124 El Paso Pipeline Partners LP (natural gas pipeline) - sold
129, 130. KBR (energy engineering) - bought/sold
131, 132, 133. Chesapeake Energy (natural gas) - bought/sold
134, 135 ATP Oil & Gas - bought/sold

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