Ecuador: Donziger guilty of fraud against Chevron

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Ecuador: Donziger guilty of fraud against Chevron

by Fausta Rodríguez Wertz

Yes­ter­day U.S. Dis­trict Judge Lewis Kaplan

found that New York lawyer Steven Donziger and his lit­i­ga­tion team engaged in coer­cion, bribery, money laun­der­ing and other mis­con­duct aimed at secur­ing a 2011 ver­dict against the com­pany in Ecuador.

The judge con­cluded that Mr. Donziger and his team fab­ri­cated evi­dence, promised $500,000 to an Ecuadorean judge to rule in their favor, ghost­wrote much of the final ver­dict in the case and took other actions that “per­verted” the course of justice.

In the 2011 law­suit, Chevron accused Donziger and Ecuado­rian plain­tiffs of fraud and rack­e­teer­ing in the 2003 Lago Agrio trial that resulted in a US$19billion ver­dict against Chevron, which had never oper­ated in Ecuador but had inher­ited an envi­ron­men­tal clean-​up case when Chevron acquired Tex­aco in 2001. (The Wall Street Jour­nal has a time­line, and you can read the 500-​page Kaplan rul­ing here.)

Last Novem­ber Ecuador reduced the $19 bil­lion to $9 billion.

The Aguarico-​4 site became a favorite cause among celebri­ties like Sting, Danny Glover, Cher, Daryl Han­nah and Mia Far­row (who on Jan­u­ary 27 tweeted that she was “in Equador to check out the toxic #mess left by Texaco-#Chevron” but appears to have deleted that tweet and turned her atten­tion to other mat­ters). These same celebri­ties have noth­ing to say about tribal war­fare in the Ama­zon killing hun­dreds of peo­ple, the government’s war against free­dom expres­sion, and China’s con­trol of Ecuador’s oil.

The gov­ern­ment of Ecuador gives tours to the site, which is actu­ally owned by its own oil com­pany, Petroe­cuador.

Chevron is right to con­tinue to fight the (now) $9 bil­lion judgement.

I expect that Donziger will appeal: Jack Fowler reported in late Jan­u­ary that

Donziger has cob­bled a fourth legal defense team, led by Deepak Gupta, who will be assisted by Uni­ver­sity of Den­ver Law School pro­fes­sors Justin Marceau and John Campbell.

Judge Kaplan prob­a­bly expects him to, also, con­sid­er­ing his 500-​page deci­sion plus 89-​page appendix.

Judge Kaplan points out that Donziger is a mas­ter at pub­lic rela­tions, and Donziger’s strat­egy of a media cam­paign “shift­ing the focus from the fraud on Chevron and the Lago Agrio court to the envi­ron­men­tal harm that Donziger [and the plain­tiffs] claim was done” will most likely continue.

Over in US, how­ever, the Chevron Case Helped Wreck a Big Law Merger between Pat­ton Boggs of Wash­ing­ton, DC, and Locke Lord of Texas,

Chevron has filed a coun­ter­claim against Pat­ton Boggs in the case, and two sources famil­iar with the mat­ter told The Am Law Daily that the firm’s poten­tial lia­bil­i­ties on that front con­tributed to Locke Lord’s deci­sion to call off merger talks.

Last month Locke Lord man­ag­ing part­ner Jerry Clements told The Am Law Daily that the poten­tial lia­bil­i­ties and “rep­u­ta­tional aspects” of the Chevron mat­ter were a key part of her firm’s due dili­gence efforts in eval­u­at­ing a merger with Pat­ton Boggs.

Rep­u­ta­tional aspects” indeed.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on Latin Amer­i­can and US pol­i­tics and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog. You can read her posts on the Chevron case here.

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by Fausta Rodríguez Wertz

Yesterday U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan

found that New York lawyer Steven Donziger and his litigation team engaged in coercion, bribery, money laundering and other misconduct aimed at securing a 2011 verdict against the company in Ecuador.

The judge concluded that Mr. Donziger and his team fabricated evidence, promised $500,000 to an Ecuadorean judge to rule in their favor, ghostwrote much of the final verdict in the case and took other actions that “perverted” the course of justice.

In the 2011 lawsuit, Chevron accused Donziger and Ecuadorian plaintiffs of fraud and racketeering in the 2003 Lago Agrio trial that resulted in a US$19billion verdict against Chevron, which had never operated in Ecuador but had inherited an environmental clean-up case when Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001. (The Wall Street Journal has a timeline, and you can read the 500-page Kaplan ruling here.)

Last November Ecuador reduced the $19 billion to $9 billion.

The Aguarico-4 site became a favorite cause among celebrities like Sting, Danny Glover, Cher, Daryl Hannah and Mia Farrow (who on January 27 tweeted that she was “in Equador to check out the toxic #mess left by Texaco-#Chevron” but appears to have deleted that tweet and turned her attention to other matters). These same celebrities have nothing to say about tribal warfare in the Amazon killing hundreds of people, the government’s war against freedom expression, and China’s control of Ecuador’s oil.

The government of Ecuador gives tours to the site, which is actually owned by its own oil company, Petroecuador.

Chevron is right to continue to fight the (now) $9 billion judgement.

I expect that Donziger will appeal: Jack Fowler reported in late January that

Donziger has cobbled a fourth legal defense team, led by Deepak Gupta, who will be assisted by University of Denver Law School professors Justin Marceau and John Campbell.

Judge Kaplan probably expects him to, also, considering his 500-page decision plus 89-page appendix.

Judge Kaplan points out that Donziger is a master at public relations, and Donziger’s strategy of a media campaign “shifting the focus from the fraud on Chevron and the Lago Agrio court to the environmental harm that Donziger [and the plaintiffs] claim was done” will most likely continue.

Over in US, however, the Chevron Case Helped Wreck a Big Law Merger between Patton Boggs of Washington, DC, and Locke Lord of Texas,

Chevron has filed a counterclaim against Patton Boggs in the case, and two sources familiar with the matter told The Am Law Daily that the firm’s potential liabilities on that front contributed to Locke Lord’s decision to call off merger talks.

Last month Locke Lord managing partner Jerry Clements told The Am Law Daily that the potential liabilities and “reputational aspects” of the Chevron matter were a key part of her firm’s due diligence efforts in evaluating a merger with Patton Boggs.

“Reputational aspects” indeed.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on Latin American and US politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog. You can read her posts on the Chevron case here.

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Olimometer 2.52

Speaking of reality, Wednesday is here I leave for DC in a few hours and DaTipJar is at $57 toward this weeks goal of $365 to be on track to pay the mortgage and our writers.

We need 12 tip jar hitters at $25 to get that goal and if that trend doesn’t change it’s going to be very rough around here very fast.

Be part of the solution to fight back against the media meme. Hit DaTipJar below

Now there is another reason to kick in on a more permanent way

DaGuy low rez copy-psd

Please consider being a subscriber. With additional writers we need 61 subscribers @ at $20 a month are necessary to secure the cost of Da Magnificent Seven & the monthly mortgage on a permanent basis AND if you so at the $25 level
you can receive one of several Exclusive Original Chris Muir high Res Graphics of original members of DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Seven Gang. like the one on the right


Low res tha lotPlease specify which of the eight hi res (including myself you wish to receive) Subscribe at $50 a month and receive all eight. Subscribe at $100 a month and get all 8 wanted posters high res graphics plus the high res version of all of us exclusively created for subscribers of DaTechGuy blog by Chris Muir himself!