Description: United States Virgin Islands Office of the Attorney General sought documents from Competitive Enterprise Institute as part of its investigation of alleged climate change-related fraud on the part of ExxonMobil.
United States Virgin Islands Office of the Attorney General v. ExxonMobil Corp.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 10/17/2016 Motion Download Unopposed motion filed by Competitive Enterprise Institute for leave to file notice of supplemental authority in support of its special motion to dismiss, motion for sanctions, and motion for costs and attorney’s fees. Competitive Enterprise Institute Cited Texas Federal Court’s Concerns Regarding Massachusetts Attorney General’s Exxon Investigation as Support for Sanctions in D.C. Court. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) argued to the District of Columbia Superior Court that a Texas federal court’s order in Exxon’s case against the Massachusetts attorney general supported CEI’s request for sanctions against the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) attorney general. As part of a climate change-related investigation of Exxon, the USVI attorney general issued, but later revoked, a subpoena to CEI asking for certain documents and communications. CEI argued that sanctions were warranted, in part due to the USVI attorney general’s bad faith in commencing the Exxon investigation. CEI said that the Texas federal court’s expressions of concern regarding whether the Massachusetts attorney general undertook her investigation of Exxon in good faith supported CEI’s arguments regarding the pretextual nature of the USVI attorney general’s investigatory demands. CEI noted that the same events cited by the Texas federal court as warranting concern—including a climate change press conference held by a number of state attorneys general—also demonstrated bad faith on the part of the USVI attorney general. 06/30/2016 Consent Motion Download Consent motion filed by Competitive Enterprise Institute for leave to file notice of supplemental authority in support of its special motion to dismiss, motion for sanctions, and motion for costs and attorney's fees. Competitive Enterprise Institute Subpoena Withdrawn in Virgin Islands' Investigation of ExxonMobil. A day after Exxon Mobil Corporation (ExxonMobil) and the Attorney General for the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) notified a Texas federal court of an agreement under which the Attorney General withdrew a subpoena and ExxonMobil withdrew the lawsuit, a law firm representing the Virgin Islands sent a letter to counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) providing notice that it would withdraw the third-party subpoena issued to CEI as part of the USVI ExxonMobil climate investigation. CEI then asked the District of Columbia Superior Court for leave to file a “Notice of Supplemental Authority” in support of its special motion to dismiss and motions for sanctions and costs and attorney’s fees. CEI said the withdrawal of the ExxonMobil subpoena confirmed the “pretextual nature” of the USVI Attorney General’s investigation, raised “serious questions about the veracity” of the Attorney General’s representations to the D.C. court, and supported the argument that the Attorney General’s demands on CEI were unsupported by need. 05/20/2016 Notice Download Virgin Islands attorney general filed notice of termination of action and consent to revoke issuance of subpoena. Virgin Islands Withdrew Competitive Enterprise Institute Subpoena in ExxonMobil Climate Change Investigation. On May 20, 2016, the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) Office of the Attorney General agreed to revoke an investigative subpoena issued by the District of Columbia Superior Court to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The subpoena requested climate change-related documents and communications from or to ExxonMobil Corporation (ExxonMobil). The USVI attorney general filed a notice terminating its subpoena action against CEI in the District of Columbia Superior Court, but indicated in a May 13 letter that the USVI Department of Justice would reissue the subpoena if the attorney general intended to ask the court to compel CEI’s compliance with the subpoena in its current form. On May 16, 2016, CEI moved to dismiss the action under the District of Columbia Anti-SLAPP Act of 2010. In its motion papers, CEI said it intended to seek attorneys’ fees and other litigation costs should the subpoena be withdrawn. 05/16/2016 Memorandum Download Competitive Enterprise Institute filed memorandum of points and authorities in support of motion to dismiss. 05/16/2016 Motion to Dismiss Download Competitive Enterprise Institute filed special motion to dismiss under D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act and motion for sanctions. 05/16/2016 Not Available Download Competitive Enterprise Institute filed declaration in support of motion to dismiss. 05/16/2016 Not Available Download Competitive Enterprise Institute filed declaration in support of motion to dismiss. 05/13/2016 Letter Download Attorneys for Virgin Islands attorney general sent letter to attorneys for Competitive Enterprise Institute. 04/04/2016 Subpoena Download Subpoena issued. Competitive Enterprise Institute Said It Would Fight Subpoena in ExxonMobil Investigation. On April 7, 2016, the Competitive Enterprise Institute announced that it would fight an investigative subpoena issued by the U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General that demanded documents and communications from or to Exxon Mobil Corporation dating from 1997 to 2007 that concerned climate change.