More of What MN OAG is Hiding: Tort Firm Formally Enters Fray - Climate Litigation Watch

More of What MN OAG is Hiding: Tort Firm Formally Enters Fray

With the foundationfinanced yet still contingency-fee “climate nuisance” tort firm Sher Edling LLP having just made an appearance in Minnesota’s pursuit of energy companies — on motions of a Bloomberg SAAG, who carries some serious outstanding questions of her own, no less — two languishing state open records requests with MN OAG for certain of its Sher Edling records are worth noting.

The first, dated December 20, 2018, sought emails: a) sent to or from Karen Olson (including also copying, whether as cc: or bcc:) which also b) contain any of the following, anywhere in the correspondence of which it is a part, whether in the To or From, cc: and/or bee: fields, the Subject field, and/or the email body or body of the thread or in any attachment thereto: i) SherEdling, ii) Sher Edling, iii) DAGA, iv), v) [email protected], and/or vi) [email protected].

OAG’s response was, “This Office has no documents sent to or from Karen Olson and containing the search terms “DAGA,” “,” or “[email protected]” responsive to your MGDPA request. With regard to the remainder of your MGDP A request, this Office has no public data that is responsive.” 

Translated English-to-English, we have records re Sher Edling and Mike Firestone but none you can see (Firestone is the MA OAG CoS tagged by NAAG’s Albert Lama as the recruiter for Bloomberg SAAG placements).

This issue of OAG’s apparent dismissal of the request as not requiring dignifying with a reasoned response has been tried, and Ellison’s actions to frustrate transparency were upheld by the trial court. But, while that court made no mention of the Sher Edling records, EPA has filed its opening appellate brief asking for instruction to the trial court to more attentively address the issues and not move on from key matters with legal aphorisms such as “common interest agreements make sense” in a state that has not adopted the common interest privilege. Similarly, even though the trial court had the withheld documents available for in camera review, the trial court appears to have ruled on the basis that the AG’s descriptions were enough to go on. EPA has asked the appellate court to review the record or require the trial court to do so, rather than simply accepting AG Ellison’s cavalier assertions about what those documents might reveal about his participation in the coordinated donor-, activist- and tort-bar campaign to impose national policy, punish political opponents and, of course, obtain a “sustainable funding stream“.

Then, EPA sent a July 17, 2020 request seeking:

1. all electronic correspondence, and accompanying information (see discussion of SEC Data Delivery Standards, infra), including also any attachments, that a) was sent to or from or copies (including cc: and bcc:) i) Keith Ellison, ii) Donna Cassutt, iii) Jillian Sully, and/or iv) John Stiles, that b) includes, anywhere, whether in an email address, in the sent, to, from, cc, bcc fields, or the subject fields or body of an email or email“thread”, including also in any attachments,, and that c) is dated from October 1, 2019 through the date you process this request, inclusive; and2. any contingency fee or other fee agreement(s) and/or retainer agreement(s) and/or engagement agreement(s) entered into by the Minnesota Office of the Attorney General with, or otherwise including as a party, Sher Edling LLP, dated June 19, 2019 through the date you process this request, inclusive.

MN OAG has not yet responded, at all, whether to deny or say anything else, to a five month old request.

So it appears the footsie has been going on for some time and they don’t think it’s anyone’s business.

The Bloomberg SAAGs, and particularly Sher and Edling’s sponsoring attorney for admission pro hac vice, have come under increasing and well-overdue scrutiny. Bringing in the outside tort firm associated with all manner of other controversial aspects of this litigation industry certainly is one way to try and change the subject.