Exxon Case Against AGs Transferred to New York: Judge Kinkeade Fires a Parting Shot

On Wednesday, Judge Ed Kinkeade ordered that Exxon Mobil’s suit against NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey be transferred to the Southern District of New York. The AGs must be breathing sighs of relief this morning.

It’s a very curious order.  It’s 12 pages long, yet contains just one sentence explaining why the case is being transferred:

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is the proper venue for this case because “a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred” in New York City, New York at the AGs United for Clean Power press conference on March 29, 2016.

The entirety of the rest of the Order is basically a summary of why Judge Kinkeade thinks that there is merit to Exxon Mobil’s complaint and all the shameful actions he believes that the two AGs have taken.  I don’t think I’m going out on a limb in asserting that Judge Kinkeade’s statements fall under the heading of dicta.  I have a hard time seeing that they constitute any kind of binding law of the case on the judge who draws the case in New York.

Something tells me that Exxon Mobil is not likely to find as much sympathy in the Southern District of New York.

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