Judge Kaplan issued a 485-page opinion this morning siding with Chevron in its long-running challenge to a $19 billion Ecuadorian judgment against it. From the introduction of the opinion:

[T]he Court finds that Donziger began his involvement in this controversy with a desire to improve conditions in the area in which his Ecuadorian clients live. To be sure, he sought also to do well for himself while doing good for others, but there was nothing wrong with that. In the end, however, he and the Ecuadorian lawyers he led corrupted the Lago Agrio case. They submitted fraudulent evidence. They coerced one judge, first to use a court-appointed, supposedly impartial, “global expert” to make an overall damages assessment and, then, to appoint to that important role a man whom Donziger hand-picked and paid to “totally play ball” with the LAPs. They then paid a Colorado consulting firm secretly to write all or most of the global expert’s report, falsely presented the report as the work of the court-appointed and supposedly impartial expert, and told half-truths or worse to U.S. courts in attempts to prevent exposure of that and other wrongdoing. Ultimately, the LAP team wrote the Lago Agrio court’s Judgment themselves and promised $500,000 to the Ecuadorian judge to rule in their favor and sign their judgment. If ever there were a case warranting equitable relief with respect to a judgment procured by fraud, this is it. . . . .

Continue Reading In Trial Win For Chevron, Judge Kaplan Tells Donziger: “It is time to face the facts”

In the RICO litigation Chevron has brought to challenge an allegedly fraudulent multibillion dollar judgment against it in Ecuador, the defendants today moved to strike the testimony of an Ecuadorian judge who admitted to taking bribes from Chevron’s adversaries in the prior litigation in Ecuador. Chevron paid the judge to be relocated to the U.S., and the defendants argue that the payments were unlawful bribes:
Continue Reading Defendants Move to Strike Chevron’s Star Witness in RICO Trial Over Ecuadorian Judgment

Keker & Van Nest today moved to withdraw from the RICO case challenging an $18 billion Ecuadorian judgment that Chevron contends was procured by fraud. (For prior posts on the case, see here.) Keker is counsel to Steven Donzinger, a key lawyer who helped obtain the initial judgment in Ecuador. (Keker had filed the motion on Friday by an order to show cause, but the Court directed that the application be made through a regular noticed motion, which Keker filed today.) The motion blames the withdrawal on Mr. Donzinger’s inability to pay fees sufficient to keep up with what Keker describes as a “Dickensian farce”:
Continue Reading Keker & Van Nest Moves to Withdraw from Chevron RICO Action

Yesterday, Chevron moved for summary judgment in its RICO and fraud case against a group of Ecuadoran citizens (called the “LAPs” in the papers) and a New York lawyer who allegedly procured an $18 billion judgment against Chevron through fraud.  (For more background, see prior posts here.)  The motion includes a declaration from an Ecuadorian judge, Alberto Guerra, who says he facilitated a $500,000 bribe to the judge who entered the judgment, Nicolás Zambrano.  Here is a sampling from Chevron’s brief:
Continue Reading Chevron Moves for Summary Judgment in Case Challenging $18 Billion Ecuadorian Judgment

In the RICO litigation Chevron has brought to challenge an allegedly fraudulent multibillion dollar judgment against it in Ecuador, Judge Kaplan today denied, without prejudice, the motion of Patton Boggs, counsel to certain Ecuadorian citizens trying to enforce the judgment, to quash a subpoena from Chevron. As we blogged before, Patton Boggs’s motion argued that compliance with the subpoena would cost between $6-8 million. Judge Kaplan found that it was likely Patton Boggs had discoverable material, including potentially material covered by the crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege, and that a wholesale quashing of the subpoena was not justified. He concluded that Patton Boggs’s concerns about the burden of compliance were best addressed after the parties determined the proper scope of the subpoena, and chided both sides for “extraordinary stubbornness” in not having attempted to negotiate terms in the first place:
Continue Reading Judge Kaplan Denies, Without Prejudice, Patton Boggs’s Motion to Quash Chevron Subpoena and Orders Parties to Confer “In Person”