A nonjury trial determining the liability of companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, including BP, Halliburton and Transocean, will begin on Feb. 27, according to an order from U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier. "The trial will address all allocation of fault issues that may properly be tried to the bench without a jury," including such issues as "negligence, gross negligence, or other bases of liability of, and the proportion of liability allocable to the various defendants, third parties, and non-parties," Barbier said in a written order.

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