The judge overseeing hundreds of lawsuits arising from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has chosen 15 attorneys for lead roles in the multibillion-dollar case.

Among the chosen is former Agriculture Secretary and U.S. Rep. Mike Espy, now a lawyer in Mississippi. One prominent name omitted by New Orleans U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier was David Boies, who represented Al Gore in the 2000 presidential recount battle.

These lawyers will lead the cause for thousands of fishermen, business people, property owners and others who have sued BP PLC and other companies involved in the oil spill. They also get a larger share of a settlement or damages.

Two lawyers, James Roy and Stephen Herman, will head an executive panel to coordinate the larger group.