Description: Lawsuit to compel disclosure of records related to the relationship between the Minnesota Attorney General and an outside group that funds "special attorneys general" to advance progressive climate change positions.
Energy Policy Advocates v. Ellison
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 12/08/2021 Memorandum and Order Download Motion to compel denied in part and granted in part. The court found that three emails—two from a special assistant attorney general in the Oregon Department of Justice and one from a senior counsel in the New York Attorney General's Office—constituted civil investigative data. The court further concluded, after an in camera review, that the emails were not "revelatory to Plaintiff's claimed topic of interests" and that the benefit to the plaintiff and public would not outweigh the harm of disclosing the emails, which contained legal theories about potential litigation. The court found, however, that the benefit to the plaintiff and public outweighed the benefit to the attorney general for a fourth email that was related to a standing meeting and technological difficulties related to the meeting. The court also found that the first three emails constituted attorney work product and rejected the plaintiff's argument that they had to be disclosed because the other states attorneys general were potential adversaries of the Minnesota Attorney General. The court concluded, however, that the common interest doctrine did not apply in this case because it applies only to attorney-client privilege, not the work product doctrine. 07/08/2020 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Group Sought Disclosure of Documents Regarding Relationship Between Minnesota Attorney General and Outside Legal Organization. The nonprofit corporation Energy Policy Advocates filed suit in Minnesota under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act seeking to compel disclosure of documents related to what the plaintiff called a “highly unusual arrangement” between the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center and the Minnesota Attorney General where the Center funds special attorneys general to advance “progressive clean energy, climate change, and environmental legal positions.”