In a complaint filed Tuesday, CDO manager Harding Advisory and its principal Wing Chau allege that the SEC violated their due process and equal protection rights by “shoehorning” a case against them into an administrative proceeding instead of suing in federal court.  The plaintiffs allege that an administrative hearing is wholly unsuitable for a complex case like theirs, especially given the rigid requirement that hearings occur within approximately four months of the matter being initiated.  They  seek to enjoin the proceeding, and force the SEC to sue in federal court instead. The plaintiffs allege that the SEC has refused to explain why their case, as compared to similar CDO cases, was “singled out” to be kept out of court, and argue that the SEC’s must be acting based upon one or more of the following improper motives:
Continue Reading CDO Manager Sues to Enjoin SEC Administrative Case Based on Inadequate Procedural Protections

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

Judge Kaplan today largely denied the Bank of New York’s motion to dismiss a DOJ civil lawsuit alleging that the bank promised its customers “best execution” of foreign exchange transactions but, in fact, maximized its own profit by giving customers the worst (or near worst) prices of the day.  A key question of first impression was whether the DOJ could sue a under statute covering frauds that affect a federally-insured institution, when the effects are alleged to be upon the defendant institution itself:
Continue Reading Judge Kaplan Largely Denies Motion to Dismiss DOJ Suit Relating to Bank of New York’s Foreign Exchange “Best Execution” Practices