The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens
by Chrysta Castañeda and Loren C. Steffy
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 31 Mar 2020 | Archive Date 01 Jun 2020
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 the trial every day, he was determined to prevail, even at the cost of his health - or life.
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 young female lawyer determined to help him make one final stand for justice.
A Note From the Publisher
“Think you know T. Boone Pickens, the larger-than-life business titan, energy trader, and corporate raider? Think again. The attorney representing Pickens in his final major court battle and the business writer who covered him most over the decades reveal a whole other T. Boone that few people outside his bubble could have ever imagined.”
- Joe Nick Patoski, author of Austin to ATX.
“T. Boone Pickens, the legendary wildcatter and takeover tycoon, was a controversial figure — and a hard man to truly understand. As Pickens’ attorney in the highest-stakes trial of his life, Castañeda got to know him better than most, and in this captivating, candid portrait, she and Steffy shed new light on the character and quirks that made him a villain to some and a hero to others.”
- Jennifer Latson, author of The Boy Who Loved Too Much
Average rating from 4 members
It's a shame that many people don't know who T. Boone Pickens is. Back in the day when I read Success Magazine, I remember reading about him, and occasionally seeing him on the news. This book at times can be somewhat of a slow read, but it's fascinating. A David and (former) Goliath joined to fight the Persian Army (I know I'm mixing my history battles, but you get it). I'm glad this story was told and hope it finds a way to your shelf.
I live in oilfield country and love reading the stories of the bigger than life characters that built this commodity into the economy driving force that it is. T Boone Pickens is one of only a handful of men that went to legendary lengths to develop the oilfields that gave so many Midwesterners a life outside farming. The fact that he selected a female lawyer to fight in a male dominated courtroom is just one of the many actions that gave him his "unpredictable" label. A really good look at a chapter in the life of an oilfield legend.