Accountability was the buzzword on Oct. 18 as advocacy groups staged a news conference outside the Texas Supreme Court building. But inside the courtroom, justices focused on legal issues during arguments over whether BP’s former chief executive officer is protected from being deposed by lawyers for plaintiffs in hundreds of cases stemming from the fatal 2005 explosion at the BP refinery in Texas City.

Surrounded by an array of posters depicting photos of various corporate executives, Texas AFL-CIO president Becky Moeller told reporters, “The legal thinking taking place today may be on its face about the technical issue of whether the ‘apex deposition doctrine’ frees a former CEO from answering a subpoena to testify, but this hearing is really about accountability.”