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Rosenblum and Hainkel Successfully Assist in Protecting Freeport-McMoRan’s Oil and Gas Trade Secrets from Discovery
April 20, 2004

On December 19, 2003, the Texas Supreme Court conditionally granted the extraordinary remedy of mandamus, directing a trial court to vacate a discovery order compelling an ex-husband to disclose to his ex-wife fifteen-years worth of letters of recommendation, which contained trade secret oil and gas prospect evaluations and recommendations owned by Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas, L.L.C. In a successful effort to protect the trade secrets, litigation partners Carl D. Rosenblum and Alida C. Hainkel represented Freeport-McMoRan by filing amicus briefs in the lower Texas courts and in the Texas Supreme Court. In the decision, the Texas Supreme Court held that ex-husband’s “access” to the letters of recommendation failed to satisfy the Texas “possession, custody, or control” procedural standard for obtaining discovery. The decision, which is expected to be widely cited, was front page news in the Texas Lawyer because the Texas Supreme Court, as a matter of first impression, recognized that a party’s mere access to documents fails to satisfy the “possession, custody or control” discovery standard.