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Judge Defends Spill Decision That Miffed La. AG

New Orleans, LA – A federal judge is defending his decision to appoint Alabama's newly elected attorney general to coordinate all states' interests in the litigation spawned by the Deepwater Horizon explosion that led to the Gulf oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said in court Friday that his appointment of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has been ``misconstrued by certain people.''

Barbier says he tapped Strange for the post to ``put some structure in place'' for the coordination of pretrial matters and wasn't trying to deprive other states of their rights.

Louisiana Attorney General James ``Buddy'' Caldwell said Thursday he planned to challenge Barbier's decision.

Caldwell, who attended Friday's hearing, told reporters afterward that he was still mulling his options.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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