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December 17, 2019

“The Hashtag Prosecution Against Exxon”

Walter Olson, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and writer of the Overlawyered blog, called the recently rejected securities fraud lawsuit against Exxon “a legal vendetta against a target chosen for essentially political reasons.”

The case, brought by former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and continued by current AG Letitia James, alleged that the company misled investors about the cost of climate change-related effects. However, the court found that the state “produced no testimony either from any investor who claimed to have been misled by any disclosure,” and tossed the case. The judge also said the case began with “politically motivated statements” by the former attorney general.

Olson said the case should “be studied in law schools for years to come. But not for the reasons its authors once hoped.”

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