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 Castañeda, 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 Castañeda 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 Castañeda. 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.
|Publisher:||Stoney Creek Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
CHRYSTA CASTAÑEDA 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).
Table of Contents
Part 1 The Red Bull 1
Chapter 1 "Don't Pay Her" 3
Chapter 2 The Legend of T. Boone Pickens 17
Chapter 3 "The Chainsaw" 37
Chapter 4 The Red Bull Prospect 52
Chapter 5 The Lawsuit 60
Chapter 6 "The Wrong Guy to Eliminate" 69
Chapter 7 Lingering Doubts 83
Part 2 The Trial Begins 95
Chapter 8 Morning in Monahans 97
Chapter 9 Prepping Pickens 105
Chapter 10 Day One 116
Chapter 11 The "Guidances" 124
Chapter 12 Picking the Jury 128
Chapter 13 A Tough Act to Follow 136
Chapter 14 My Turn 145
Chapter 15 Growing Frustration 153
Chapter 16 "We Are Zombies" 164
Part 3 Pickens Takes the Stand 169
Chapter 17 "The Biggest Prospect Ever" 171
Chapter 18 From Hell to Breakfast 186
Chapter 19 Pickens versus the Defense 193
Chapter 20 "Don't Rush the Monkey" 202
Chapter 21 "You're Going to Get Yours!" 208
Chapter 22 "Blinders On" 212
Chapter 23 "Your Client Is Not Well" 223
Chapter 24 The Power of a Penny 229
Chapter 25 "No Amendments Required" 242
Chapter 26 Closing Arguments 249
Chapter 27 All or Nothing 270
Chapter 28 "Show Up Early. Work Hard. Stay Late." 279
A Note on Sources 297