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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Heavy-hitting Tampa trial lawyer Steve Yerrid building legal team to take on BP

As legal battles over the gulf oil spill flow into Florida courts, a high-profile Tampa lawyer is emerging as a key figure, thanks to his friendship with Gov. Charlie Crist.

Attorney Steve Yerrid is eager to bring the same confrontational legal approach to BP that he and others did to Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and other cigarette-makers on behalf of the state's landmark case against the tobacco industry in the 1990s.

Yerrid now has wide latitude from Crist to assemble a posse of high-powered trial lawyers, similar to the "dream team," hired by then-Gov. Lawton Chiles, who secured an $11.4 billion settlement with the tobacco industry in 1997. (a profile is here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:46am]


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