News & Publications

Court Rules Against ExxonMobil’s Attempt to Block Investigation

Firm attorneys Lori Potter and Nate Hunt successfully defended our client, Climate Accountability Institute, in opposing a subpoena issued to the Institute for its confidential work on carbon emissions.  On March 29, 2018, a federal district court judge in New York dismissed ExxonMobil’s underlying challenge to civil investigations by the Attorneys General for New York and Massachusetts.  The ongoing civil investigations focus on the company’s alleged concealment of its knowledge of the impact of fossil fuels on climate change.

Exxon had filed suit against the Attorneys General, claiming that the states had “conspired” with climate change scientists and advocates in bringing state investigations of Exxon.  In an attempt to establish a conspiracy, Exxon submitted far-reaching subpoenas to Climate Accountability Institute and others, seeking scientific research, reports, and many other records.  Nate Hunt and Lori Potter represented Climate Accountability Institute in opposing Exxon’s subpoena and succeeded in staving off production of scientific records until the federal judge dismissed Exxon’s claims as “implausible.”

The Firm intends to continue to defend science against future abusive actions against municipalities, non-profit organizations, and institutions like the Climate Accountability Institute.  The Institute is a nonprofit, headquartered in Snowmass, Colorado, who engages in research, education, and advocacy to foster climate stewardship and to communicate the risks of continued emissions of greenhouse gases.