Strange times coming for Alabama

Strange

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline) - Republican Birmingham attorney Luther Strange has defeated his Democratic opponent, Montgomery lawyer James Anderson, for Alabama's attorney general post.

The Montgomery Advertiser had Strange as the projected winner, with 2,028 of 2,811, or 72 percent, of the state's precincts reporting.

The Advertiser showed Strange with 57 percent of the votes and Anderson with 43 percent.

Strange will replace current Alabama Attorney General Troy King, whom Strange defeated in the state's Republican primary earlier this year.

Alabama, under King, is the only state to have sued oil giant BP and others over the Gulf oil spill in an effort to make up for lost state tax revenue.

An explosion and fire occurred on Transocean's drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, licensed to BP, on April 20, killing 11 workers and resulting in the largest offshore spill in U.S. history.

King filed two lawsuits in August -- one against the oil company and the other against Transocean, Halliburton and other companies associated with the spill. The suits seek economic and punitive damages, but no amount was specified.

King has described the spill as "the largest legal disaster ever encountered," and contends the state will be working for years to rebuild its economy.

He and Gov. Bob Riley have clashed over the lawsuits, with Riley most recently blaming BP's rejection of the state's claim for tax losses -- worth $148 million -- on King's action. Read more about their spat here.

Now, Strange, as the state's new attorney general, will control the future of the lawsuit.

Strange, who considers himself a "true conservative," was raised in Sylacauga and Homewood.

He has been named Best of the Bar by the Birmingham Business Journal and has been recognized as one of the best lawyers in Alabama by Birmingham Magazine.

His law firm, Strange LLC, also has been named one of the Top Ten Law Firms that Understand Economic Development by Southern Business & Development Magazine.

Strange has been married to his wife Melissa for 28 years, and they have two sons.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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