A human rights lawyer in Washington who has long pursued cases against multinational companies is now entangled in a subpoena spat with coal miner Drummond Co., which is suing the attorney and his firm for alleged defamation.
The lawyer, Terry Collingsworth, the managing partner of the Washington office of Conrad & Scherer, on August 16 asked a federal trial judge in Washington to quash subpoenas that Drummond's counsel served on two groups affiliated with Collingsworth—International Rights Advocates and International Labor Rights Forum.
Collingsworth is the executive director of the Washington-based non-profit International Rights Advocates; he formerly served as general counsel of the labor rights group. Collingsworth, who joined Conrad & Scherer in 2008, is lead counsel in a human rights suit against Drummond that's pending in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
A lawyer for Collingsworth, Conrad & Scherer senior associate Christian Levesque, said in the court papers filed last week in Washington that Drummond "seeks for the third time the same documents from the same people." Levesque wrote that "the intent of this serial discovery is clearly to harass Mr. Collingsworth and his staff." Drummond wants information about, among other things, payments and contacts in Colombia.