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Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Hill

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

May 6, 2014

EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
CLARENCE HILL; TIMOTHY J. FALCON; JEREMIAH A. SPRAGUE; FRANK M. BUCK, JR., Defendants-Appellees

Appeals fro the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

For Exxon Mobil Corporation, Plaintiff - Appellant: Martin A. Stern, Glen Marion Pilie, Diana Cole Surprenant, Raymond Peter Ward, Adams & Reese, L.L.P., New Orleans, LA.

For Clarence Hill, Defendant - Appellee: Jeremiah Alexander Mark Sprague, Jarrett Stephen Falconm, Timothy John Falcon, Falcon Law Firm, Marrero, LA.

For Timothy J. Falcon, Defendant - Appellee: Jeremiah Alexander Mark Sprague, Jarrett Stephen Falcon, Falcon Law Firm, Marrero, LA; Frank M. Buck Jr., New Orleans, LA.

For Jeremiah A. Sprague, Defendant - Appellee: Frank M. Buck Jr., New Orleans, LA; Jarrett Stephen Falcon, Timothy John Falcon, Falcon Law Firm, Marrero, LA.

Jeremiah A. Sprague, Defendant - Appellee, Pro se, Falcon Law Firm, Marrero, LA.

For Frank M. Buck, Jr., Defendant - Appellee: Jeremiah Alexander Mark Sprague, Jarrett Stephen Falcon, Timothy John Falcon, Falcon Law Firm, Marrero, LA.

Frank M. Buck, Jr., Defendant - Appellee, Pro se, New Orleans, LA.

Before SMITH, ELROD, and SOUTHWICK, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 380

JERRY E. SMITH, Circuit Judge:

Exxon Mobil Corporation (" Exxon Mobil" ) appeals a judgment that dismissed its intervention based on the district court's ruling that a memorandum prepared by Exxon Mobil's in-house counsel was ineligible for the protections of the attorney-client privilege. Concluding that the memorandum is privileged, we vacate and remand.

I.

In the late 1980s, Exxon Mobil was negotiating with another company (" ITCO" ) over a proposed contract under which ITCO would clean and store oilfield production tubulars for Exxon Mobil. The parties knew that some of the tubulars had accumulated scale, some of which was contaminated with " naturally occurring radioactive material" or " NORM." ITCO had created a new device designed to contain any dust generated by cleaning NORM-contaminated scale from the tubulars. As part of its due diligence, Exxon Mobil sent an industrial hygienist, Lindsey Booher, to conduct tests designed to reveal whether the device would work as intended. Booher wrote a confidential report to ...


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