The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens

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Texas A&M University Press, Apr 27, 2020 - Law - 300 pages

T. Boone Pickens, legendary Texas oilman and infamous corporate raider from the 1980s, climbed the steps of the Reeves County courthouse in Pecos, Texas in early November 2016. He entered the solitary courtroom and settled into the witness stand for two days of testimony in what would be the final trial of his life.  

Pickens, who was 88 by then, had made and lost billions over his long career, but he’d come to Pecos seeking justice from several other oil companies. He claimed they cut him out of what became the biggest oil play he’d ever invested in—in an oil-rich section of far West Texas that was primed for an unprecedented boom. After years of dealing with the media, shareholders and politicians, Pickens would need to win over a dozen West Texas jurors in one last battle. 

To lead his legal fight, he chose an unlikely advocate—Chrysta Castaņeda, a Dallas solo practitioner who had only recently returned to the practice of law after a hiatus borne of disillusionment with big firms. Pickens was a hardline Republican, while Castaņeda had run for public office as a Democrat. But they shared an unwavering determination to win and formed a friendship that spanned their differences in age, politics, and gender.  

In a town where frontier justice was once meted out by Judge Roy Bean—“The Law West of the Pecos”—Pickens would gird for one final courtroom showdown. Sitting through trial every day, he was determined to prevail, even at the cost of his health. 

The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens is a high-stakes courtroom drama told through the eyes of Castaņeda. It’s the story of an American business legend still fighting in the twilight of his long career, and the lawyer determined to help him make one final stand for justice.

 

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Contents

Dont Pay Her
The Legend of T Boone Pickens
The Chainsaw
The Red Bull Prospect
The Lawsuit
The Wrong Guy to Eliminate
Lingering Doubts
The Trial Begins
Pickens Takes the Stand
The Biggest Prospect Ever
From Hell to Breakfast
Pickens Versus the Defense
Dont Rush the Monkey
Youre Going to Get Yours
Blinders On
Your Client Is Not Well

Morning in Monahans
Prepping Pickens
Day
The Guidances
Picking the Jury
A Tough Act to Follow
My Turn
Growing Frustration
We Are Zombies
The Power of a Penny
No Amendments Required CHAPTER 26 Closing Arguments
All or Nothing
Show Up Early Work Hard Stay Late
Epilogue
Acknowledgments
A Note on Sources
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

CHRYSTA CASTAŅEDA is a Texas trial attorney specializing in oil and gas disputes. She formed her own boutique law firm in 2014 after more than twenty years as a partner and associate in some of the world’s top law firms. LOREN STEFFY is a journalist and author of three other books: George P. Mitchell: Fracking, Sustainability and an Unorthodox Quest to Save the Planet (Texas A&M University Press, 2019), Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit (McGraw-Hill, 2010) and The Man Who Thought Like a Ship (Texas A&M University Press, 2012). 

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