Texas judge cancels AG Healey deposition order
By Evan Lips | December 12, 2016, 15:54 EST
BOSTON — A federal judge in Texas has canceled a previous order that would have required Attorney General Maura Healey to travel to Dallas to answer questions under oath from attorneys representing ExxonMobil.
U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade officially canceled this order Monday morning.
Kinkeade had previously ordered Healey to appear Tuesday morning. Kinkeade on Monday also ordered attorneys representing Healey, Exxon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to submit 25-page briefs arguing why — or why not — the U.S. District Court for North Texas has jurisdiction over Healey and Schneiderman.
Kinkeade set Jan. 4 as a deadline to submit the briefs.
His cancellation of Healey’s deposition date is the latest chapter in the saga pitting her and Schneiderman against the oil giant. Both have filed civil investigation demands in an effort to determine whether Exxon’s scientist knew as far back as 1976 about the role various industries play in global warming.
Attorneys from Healey’s office appeared in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston last week to argue in favor of the CID. Exxon attorneys claim Healey’s demand is politically driven. In June Exxon filed a countersuit in Texas in an effort to prove that Healey and Schneiderman conspired with outside environmental groups and other environmental activists to go after Exxon.
Healey has cited consumer protection regulations as a reason for her Massachusetts-based civil investigation demand. Exxon’s attorneys have countered that Massachusetts lacks the proper jurisdiction.
Superior Court Judge Heidi Brieger has said she expects to rule on Healey’s civil investigation demand “soon” but did not offer a specific timeline.