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People -- BP, ExxonMobil, James Watt; Frank Smith, Warren Resources

 Manslaughter charges have been dismissed against Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine, who were BP plc's senior employees in charge of the Macondo well that blew out in April 2010. They had faced charges for the deaths of 11 men who perished when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded. The men earlier this year won dismissal of 11 counts of seaman's manslaughter charges after the court ruled that the victims were not seamen (see Daily GPIMarch 12Jan. 28, 2014). BP in 2013 pleaded guilty to 11 manslaughter charges and four other charges and agreed to pay $4 billion resolve all of the criminal claims (see Daily GPIJan. 30, 2013).

ExxonMobil Corp. has hired attorneyTed Wells to defend it against claims that it misled the public about climate change research (see Daily GPINov. 6). New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's office has subpoenaed the company and is demanding financial records, emails and other documents dating back to the 1970s. Wells, who has worked for ExxonMobil previously, is a partner with the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. He recently represented the NFL in the "Deflategate" scandal involving the New England Patriots. 

Warren Resources Inc. has appointed its new CEO, James A. Watt, to serve on the company's board of directors. Watt was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board, and the company said he would stand for reelection at its annual shareholder meeting next year. Watt was named CEO Nov. 16, ending a nearly one year-long search to fill the position. Lance Peterson had served as interim CEO until Watt's arrival. Peterson continues to serve on Warren's board of directors. The company, which tested its first Marcellus Shale wells earlier this year (see Shale DailyAug. 18), also said it has appointed Frank T. Smith, Jr. as its CFO. Smith had previously served as the CFO of Dune Energy Inc. Watt also joined Warren from Dune, where he had served as its CEO.  

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