City of San Francisco v. Exxon Mobile Corporation
City of San Francisco v. Exxon Mobile Corporation (Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District of Texas – Fort Worth, June 18, 2020): A Texas appellate court ruled that Exxon Mobile could not engage in pre-trial discovery in a potential Texas-based lawsuit alleging California climate-change suits were brought in bad faith. Exxon Mobile sought to investigate and compel testimony from California municipalities and their outside counsel engaged in climate-change litigation in California. The company claimed that the California lawsuits were: (1) brought “to suppress the Texas energy sector’s Texas-based speech and associational activities;” and (2) a pretext to obtain its climate-change related documents. Exxon Mobile anticipated bringing claims in Texas court alleging First Amendment violations, malicious prosecution, and conspiracy. The appellate court noted its “impulse to safeguard an industry vital to Texas’s economic well-being,” but concluded Texas courts lacked personal jurisdiction over the potential defendants. Read the decision here.