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It used to be that all the advocacy in a pending Supreme Court case was contained in the briefs and oral arguments. But in recent years, it has become more common for a public relations-style campaign to accompany the briefing and give a boost to one side or the other in a case. (Best recent example: Institute for Justice’s successful campaign to put a human face on “eminent domain” in the context of the 2005 case Kelo v. City of New London.) In advance of the Feb. 27 arguments in the punitive damages case Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, a similar effort has been launched to remind the public (if not the justices) of the longterm impact of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill that triggered the litigation. Some of the 32,000 members of the class suing Exxon before the Court established a “whole truth” Web site this week to highlight the continuing impact on the lives and work of Native Alaskans and others in the Prince William Sound. The group also plans a candlelight vigil in D.C. around the time of the arguments. In a preview of the case this week, Legal Times explored the strategies of both sides. Jeffrey Fisher of Davis Wright Tremaine, who will argue for the class, told us, “It’s important to get the Court back to the event itself.”
Tony Mauro can be contacted at [email protected]. The following story first appeared on The Blog of Legal Times.

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