Hemenway & Barnes Files Amicus Brief with SJC on Behalf of Former Massachusetts Attorneys General in Support of the Current Attorney General’s Suit Against Exxon Mobil

February 16, 2022

Hemenway & Barnes attorneys Edward Notis-McConarty, Jennifer Grace Miller, M. Patrick Moore Jr. and Clinton R. Prospere filed an amicus brief on behalf of every living former Massachusetts Attorney General – Francis X. Bellotti, James M. Shannon, Scott Harshbarger, Thomas Reilly, and Martha Coakley -- in the case of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Exxon Mobil Corp. The brief urges the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) to affirm the Superior Court’s decision, which denied Exxon’s special motion to dismiss Attorney General Maura Healey’s suit against Exxon for violations of G.L. c. 93A, the unfair and deceptive practice statute.

In her suit, the Attorney General has alleged that Exxon engaged in deceptive advertising to Massachusetts consumers and has misled Massachusetts investors about the risks to Exxon’s business posed by fossil fuel-driven climate change—including systemic financial risk. The subject of the appeal is Exxon’s claim that the Attorney General’s suit is a SLAPP (strategic litigation against public participation), based exclusively on Exxon’s petitioning of the government on climate change issues, and should be dismissed. In the brief, Hemenway & Barnes argues that enforcement actions by the Attorney General are not SLAPPs, that the Massachusetts Anti-SLAPP statute should not be applied against the Attorney General’s enforcement actions, and that Exxon is attempting to use the statute in a manner never envisioned by the Massachusetts Legislature.

Read the brief here: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Exxon Mobil Corp.

In a related case, Hemenway & Barnes filed an amicus brief in the case of Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Healey on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The brief also filed on behalf of every living former Massachusetts Attorney General addresses how the Former Attorneys General have used civil investigative demand (CID) under Chapter 93A to protect consumers in Massachusetts and to ensure a fairer marketplace. Read more here.

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