When most people think of the BP oil spill, they envision
environmental problems. But the mess has also created legal
questions, and that's where Steven Mannion comes in.
The U.S. Coast Guard Reserve lieutenant and legal officer — also a partner at DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin in Teaneck — was called for a 60-day deployment at a command post outside Houma, La., beginning on July 14,
It's a sort of legal triage," Mannion says. The issues he is handling range from cutting through legalities so an oil-cleanup contractor can enter pro¬tected marshland to counseling Coast Guard members on powers of attorney and employment matters.
Mannion is one of 3,000 Coast Guard reservists called for Gulf deployment — on four days' notice.
His partners in the firm's litigation, labor and employment practice groups are handling his cases, a move that enabled him to go, he says. And judges have been accommodating, he adds.
It's not the first time he's been called up. Shortly after 9/11, he helped provide waterside security as a member of the New Jersey State Guard. Most years, Mannion devotes 42 days to the Coast Guard, supervising a Staten Island-based law enforcement unit. That means spending extra time at DeCotiis to bolster billable-hour totals, he says.