August 18, 2020

RM Successfully Defends Out-Of-State Municipalities and Officials Against Exxon Mobil Corp.

California municipalities and officials sought to hold Exxon responsible for infastructure damage related to climate-change through various nuisance causes of action filed in California. Exxon retaliated by seeking pre-suit discovery of a “conspiracy” against Exxon to allegedly suppress its right to “political speech” relating to fossil fuels. Pete Marketos and Tyler Bexley represented the California officials and municipalities and successfully halted Exxon’s attempt, arguing that personal jurisdiction was lacking in Texas. The Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth begrudgingly agreed, stating that public comments allegedly directed at Texas-based Exxon do not create sufficient contacts with Texas to establish personal jurisdiction over the California parties to the suit. For a Law360 article with more on the background and ruling, click here.