UPDATE: Exhibit B has been restored and some if it is now public.
Exhibit B to the Hallowich settlement will be made public!
A lot has happened with this case over the past couple of years and there has been an explosion of news recently. Below is the Cliff Notes for the most recent news:
1. Judge Debbie O‘Dell Seneca questioned the handling of Judge Ponzonsky in the Hallowich case after he got his tail in a crack for theft and for destroying court records.
2. Judge Seneca stood up for Democracy and dealt a blow to the secrecy-obsessed fracking industry by ordering the court records to be unsealed.
3. When the records were unsealed, Exhibit B had mysteriously disappeared.
A lot of bizarre stuff has happened in the meantime:
- Using a common mafia tactic, the Hallowich children where gagged for life from ever talking about what happened to them or using the “illegal words.
- In the face of a worldwide scandal, Range Resources tried to claim they never intended to gag the children.
- Range general counsel wrote a nasty letter claiming the kids were never gagged and, according to one attorney, he may have violated the NDA by discussing things that were a part of the case.
4. Today’s news tells us that Judge Seneca ordered the Hallowich attorney to turn over his copy of Exhibit B so it can be made public.
PLEASE NOTE: Despite the language used by Range regarding the gag on the Hallowich children, there has been no court order releasing the gag so the Hallowich children are still gagged for life.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Another Alberta Neighbour says
Harper’s Gag Orders Sweep While Canadians Sleep
“So will three different groups of lawyers, despite the fact that they are already bound by client confidentiality provisions in their Code of Professional Conduct. Why add the risk of 14 years of jail to the penalties lawyers already face if they improperly disclose client information?”
Pepsi Settles Secret Recipe Suit With Inventor’s Heirs
“Pepsi had argued that a nondisclosure agreement Ritchie signed in 1951, and honored until his death in 1985, bound the family. … In their lawsuit, filed in May 2012, Ritchie’s children claimed PepsiCo threatened to sue them for stealing trade secrets if they published or released the documents describing his invention. They claimed their father never signed the info over to Pepsi. …
And even if the formula was a trade secret, the complaint said, the court should declare that Ritchie kids have a First Amendment right to release the info…. Ritchie left the soda company in 1951 and signed an agreement whereby he would not voluntarily disclose the formula to a rival beverage company, but the pact said nothing about his heirs and their use of any property they inherited from their father, according to the lawsuit.
A third son — Richard James Ritchie, who died in late 2011— discovered the documents when cleaning out boxes in his basement in 2008, the heirs said. When he contacted Pepsi to discuss the historical significance of his find, the company allegedly demanded he hand them over and threatened litigation if he went public.”
I commend Judge Debbie O‘Dell Seneca (the world needs a lot more judges like her), Texas Sharon and the Hallowich family. Nasty work, uncovering secrets in the oil and gas industry.
Khepry Quixote says
Did you ever see the TV show “Reaper”? It’s about this young man whom discovers that his parents sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his father’s immortality. If I recall correctly, selling one’s soul or the soul(s) of others or buying another’s or others’ soul(s) in exchange for material goods or a promise thereof sometime in the future is taboo in our culture.
Or at least should be. It’s a measure of how low some people will sink to bury a systemically flawed process beneath a veil of secrecy.