Description: Exxon Mobil Corporation petition seeking pre-suit depositions and documents in anticipation of potential claims of abuse of process, conspiracy, infringement of Exxon's rights in connection with California municipalities' climate change lawsuits.
In re Exxon Mobil Corp.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/24/2018 Not Available Download Findings of fact and conclusions of law issued in support of denial of special appearances. A Texas court issued findings of fact and conclusions of law in which the court concluded that it would have personal jurisdiction over potential defendants in a lawsuit contemplated by Exxon Mobil Corporation against parties who participated in planning California local governments' lawsuits against fossil fuel companies. The court concluded that Exxon's potential claims of First Amendment violations, abuse of process, and civil conspiracy would arise from the potential defendants' contact with Texas and that exercising jurisdiction over the defendants "would comport with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice." In addition, the court said Texas had "a substantial state interest in adjudicating claims concerning constitutional torts committed in Texas against residents." 03/27/2018 Request Request filed by Exxon for findings of fact and conclusions of law supporting the court's denial of special appearances. 03/14/2018 Order Special appearances denied. 03/01/2018 Objection Download Objections and response to respondents' special appearances filed by ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil Argued That California Municipalities and Officials Would Be Subject to Texas Court’s Personal Jurisdiction. Exxon Mobil Corporation (ExxonMobil) argued to a Texas state court that it should deny special appearances filed by potential defendants and witnesses in ExxonMobil’s possible lawsuit against California cities and counties that have filed lawsuits seeking to hold ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies liable for climate change damages. The potential defendants in ExxonMobil’s threatened lawsuit also include officials and lawyers for the California cities and counties. ExxonMobil argued to the court that if it brought its lawsuit alleging constitutional violations, abuse of process, and civil conspiracy, the defendants would be subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction because they had committed intentional torts in Texas. 01/08/2018 Petition Download Petition for pre-suit depositions filed. Exxon Asked Texas State Court to Allow Depositions of Municipal Officials and Lawyers Involved in Climate Change Tort Lawsuits Against Fossil Fuel Companies. On January 8, 2018, Exxon Mobil Corporation filed a petition in Texas state court requesting an order allowing the company to conduct pre-suit depositions and obtain documents pertaining to potential claims of abuse of process, civil conspiracy, and violations of Exxon’s constitutional rights in connection with “abusive law enforcement tactics and litigation in California” that were “attempting to stifle ExxonMobil’s exercise, in Texas, of its First Amendment right to participate in the national dialogue about climate change and climate policy.” Exxon cited the tort lawsuits filed by California municipalities, as well as investigations being conducted by state attorneys general. The information sought by Exxon included the municipalities’ communications with third parties “about the real purposes of the litigation” or risk disclosures contained in their municipal bonds. Exxon alleged that the “stark and irreconcilable conflict” between the municipalities’ allegations in the lawsuits and their disclosures in bond offerings indicated that the lawsuits were brought “not because of a bona fide belief in any tortious conduct by the defendants or actual damage to their jurisdictions, but instead to coerce ExxonMobil and others operating in the Texas energy sector to adopt policies aligned with those favored by local politicians in California.” Exxon also alleged that the municipalities’ allegations were at odds with California’s actions seeking to recoup the fair market value of fossil fuels extracted on state public lands and that the municipalities did not acknowledge their own contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, Exxon asserted that the respondents named in the petition—which included municipal officials and attorneys—had made “repeated efforts … to conceal and possibly destroy evidence potentially relevant” to Exxon’s claims.