Case Details


Compulsory Process, Investigatory Powers, Subpoena

Filing State



U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York




Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Schneiderman, 1:17-02301 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 29, 2018).


Court dismissed Exxon Mobil’s attempt to stop state officials from using compulsory process in investigations.

Case Description

The attorneys general of Massachusetts and New York sought documents from Exxon Mobil (Exxon) about Exxon’s “historical knowledge of climate change and its communications with interest groups and shareholders regarding” climate change.  Exxon filed a federal suit against the attorneys general alleging that the CID and subpoena were part of a conspiracy “to silence and intimidate one side of the public policy debate on how to address climate change” and cited a press conference held by the attorneys general. Among other causes of action, Exxon alleged violations of its free speech rights under the First Amendment, its right to be free of unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment, and its due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. Exxon also filed suit in state court in Massachusetts and the Massachusetts court upheld the attorney general’s subpoena.  The federal court held that Exxon’s claims against Massachusetts were barred by res judicata.  The court then dismissed Exxon’s constitutional claims against the attorneys general, on th egrounds that the attorneys general were examining whether Exxon had committed fraud, not whether climate change was real.