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In re Exxon Mobil Corp.

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20071
Nos. 96-297222-18, (Dist. Ct. Tex., 04/27/2018) (Wallace Jr., J.)

A Texas court, ruling on a petition for pre-suit discovery, held that it would have jurisdiction over a major oil corporation's potential lawsuit against several California cities that have filed suit against it relating to climate change. The company's potential claims would allege, among other things, that the California cities conspired to suppress Texas-based speech and associational activities on climate policy that are out-of-step with the prevailing views of California public officials. The court held that exercising jurisdiction in this potential action would comport with the interstate judicial system's interest in obtaining the most efficient resolution of controversies. The company's anticipated lawsuit encompasses claims and parties that are not part of the California nuisance suits, and the company has objected to the exercise of personal jurisdiction in those suits. In addition, exercising jurisdiction would support the shared interest of the several states in furthering substantive social policies, because the anticipated action concerns a conspiracy to suppress and chill speech and associational activities. And Texas has an inherent interest in exercising jurisdiction over actions that concern the infringement of constitutional rights within its borders.