February 14, 2008

Exxon Valdez Plaintiffs Hope DVD Will Influence Supreme Court to Affirm $2.5 Billion Punitive Damages Award

Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal has an interesting article about a DVD filed in the Supreme Court by the plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez case. The DVD contains audio of Captain Hazelwood's distress call to the Coast Guard and video of the environmental impact of the spill. The plaintiffs submitted the DVD without objection from Exxon Mobil.

The article mentions that the plaintiffs sought permission to file an electronic brief in the Supreme Court and the clerk's office agreed to circulate the e-brief to the court, but the plaintiffs "decided not to push it." I'm not sure why the plaintiffs thought an e-brief would be "pushing it." Our firm regularly files e-briefs, and although we have never filed one in the U.S. Supreme Court, we have heard consistently from judges and court staff in other courts that they find e-briefs very useful and they would like to receive them more often. We have never had any court reject a request to file an ebrief.