Chevron defeats the Greens with their own hubris

Story submitted by Eric Worrall

James Delingpole writing for Breitbart London has published a fascinating story of how green groups were undone by their own hubris and misleading evidence in their effort to sue Chevron Oil for billions of dollars for pollution.

Thanks to Chevron’s CEO John S Watson’s courageous decision to stand up to naked green bullying, and the arrogant stupidity of eco-campaigner Steven Donziger, the case against Chevron collapsed.

I don’t want to spoil the punchline – read Delingpole’s excellent post for more information about how green bullies lost a multi billion dollar potential court settlement, when they tripped over their own pride.

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/03/06/Chevrongate-capitalism-finally-grows-a-pair-in-the-war-on-Big-Green

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119 thoughts on “Chevron defeats the Greens with their own hubris

  1. From the Summary at Page 14 of the 500 page opinion of the Judge:

    “Upon consideration of all of the evidence, including the credibility of the witnesses – though several of the most important declined to testify – the 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.

    http://www.chevron.com/articledocuments/latest/news_205755/bd83210c-739d-45fb-835d-a5105d4895ca/2014.03.04%20%5B1874%5D%20Opinion.pdf.cvxn

  2. While this result is a good one for truth and honesty, is there going to be any follow up prosecutions for fraudulent behaviour that Green groups exhibited during this case?

    If the follow up does not happen then they will try again against someone else and hope their bullying is not challenged. Pain is the most effective deterrent. The more pain, the more effective the deterrent.

  3. Applause!

    The green parasites have finally been exposed in a court of law for what they truly are.

    That is huge!

  4. Speaking of ‘Greens’ – anybody else ever see the movie “Pandoras Promise”? (1hr 26min)

    (A tale of Greenies ex-greenies who saw the light on nuclear power )

    .

  5. From Wall Street Journal

    U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Monday found that New York lawyer Steven Donziger and his litigation team engaged in coercion, bribery, money laundering and other criminal conduct in their effort to obtain a multibillion dollar pollution judgment in Ecuador against Chevron Corp.

    Would it be naive to expect that a federal indictment might be appropriately forthcoming?

  6. An important battle.
    Now for energy companies and other responsible productive organizations to stop feeding big green. The tide will clearly be turning when Shell, Exxon, Chevron and the rest cut off Grenpeace, WWF, 350, and the other parasites posing as environmental orgs.

  7. What is even better is they may also be taking down the law firm of Patton Boggs who lobbys for international customers. (I have another comment on the history of that firm)
    Patton Boggs is the law firm that started the new improved lobbying industry in 1960s according to their website a decade ago.

    Now they sy:

    When Thomas Hale Boggs Jr. joined Patton Boggs, the year was 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson was president, and there were — by Boggs’s estimate — fewer than 100 people in Washington who called themselves lobbyists. The firm was a fledgling five-man operation trying to make its mark in lobbying, which at the time was considered an up-and-coming practice area. ¶A lot has changed. Today, Patton Boggs is the most lucrative lobby shop in Washington, and one of the most recognizable brands on K Street. The firm, which turns 50 this year, has about 550 lawyers, including 120 lobbyists….

    At the time, small boutique lobbying firms were the industry standard, and they were mostly led by former heads of federal agencies who became lobbyists after leaving the government. Boggs and Patton envisioned a different kind of lobbying operation — one that was integrated into a major law firm, staffed with attorneys well-versed in the areas of law that lobbyists were looking to change.

    “Tom saw the niche no one else saw — of substantive law combined with lobbying,” said the firm’s managing partner Ed Newberry. “So when a Patton Boggs lawyer went to the Hill to talk to the staff director, who was a well-trained lawyer, they were talking to them as a well-trained lawyer, not as a lobbyist who said, ‘Come on, do me a favor.’ ”

    The formula served them well….

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/patton-boggs-moves-to-reinvent-itself/2012/10/14/c8e26278-13eb-11e2-ba83-a7a396e6b2a7_story.html

    I really hope Delingpole is correct and these parasites crash and burn.

  8. “Thanks to Chevron’s CEO John S Watson’s courages decision”

    There’s Willis’ English again.

    [Fixed, thanks. ~mod.]

  9. But this is standard operating procedure for our environmentally concerned citizens, basically they extort all development and any developer they can put the arm on.
    It is not just the Ecuadorian government that is corrupt.
    So many of our municipal and provincial governments have passed laws enabling this kind of shakedown.
    Our Kleptocrats applaud this behaviour as “environmentally responsible”.

  10. Brilliant journalism James Delingpole – finally a real journalist with courage, class, and extraordinary clarity in a field populated by earthworms. Thank you to this web site for posting this magnificent story not available in any known MSM outlet with this talent displayed by James.

    Many of us here are not surprised by the depravity of the green machine or its members. They have lived a life of lies, deception, and greed for years and years. The troubling part of this story even as we comment is big oil’s financial sponsorship of all the lies, deceit, and greed. Here however is one oil executive that chose to fight and win. Rare indeed. That takes courage and decency to fight evil in this day and age. Bravo! But this is just one righteous man – the rest of the appeasers are still appeasers of the worst kind.

  11. From the linked article “The damage was done in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties in the Oriente region of Ecuador by Texaco and the national oil company Petroecuador.”

    I watched a documentary about this last year I think it was, maybe the year before. While there was clearly significant enviromental damage, pollution and spills, it was clearly and mostly the result of the previous owners/operators. It was obvious to me that their Govn’t, Petroecudor and Texaco were pointing fingers at Chevron and were after a large payout using greenspin and emotion leaving facts and historical records out of the equation.

  12. Thanks for that video at 7:19, Oss Qss. That is a GREAT commercial, for it is a shocking exposé of just how e-v-I-L the Envirostalinist’s are. That one ad did more than a year’s worth of editorials for truth could do. It tore off “granny’s” bonnet and opened the eyes of millions of Americans to the truth about the big bad “Green” wolf (and the Big G socialist wolf, too).
    (Just like a certain NUT on this site who proves that only a NUT could be against nuclear power, lol.)

    “Green” = police state.

    (And Audi’s are for Ecopatsies, heh, heh).

    ****************************************************
    And, GO, CHEVRON!

  13. After following some of Delingpole’s links, what appalled me was finding out that there are now “investment funds” who specialize in “litigation finance”. The one that bankrolled this case (in addition to the law firms) is Burford Capital.

    We provide financing in the areas of litigation and arbitration. Our goal is to “unlock” the value of the underlying claims to benefit our clients. We can fund a case, finance operating expenses, monetize a judgment, and more.

    Also, I saw (as I’m sure others here did) lots of parallels with Climategate.

    One aspect of the Chevron case, the judge’s decision being ghostwritten for him by the plaintiff, particularly reminded me of this email:

    I expect that you have already been made aware of the petition to EPA from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (and Pat Michaels) calling for a re-opening of public comment on EPA’s prospective “endangerment” finding on greenhouse gases. CEI is charging that the CRU at East Anglia has destroyed the raw data for a portion of the global temperature record, thus destroying the integrity of the IPCC assessments and any other work that treats the UK Jones-Wigley global temperature data record as scientifically legitimate.
    [...]
    Who is responding to this charge on behalf of the science community? Surely someone will have to, if only because EPA will need to know exactly what to say.

  14. For those that follow these sorts of things, this has been coming for a long time. Now arrived.
    As my Grandpa (a pioneer from Russia in California in the 1890s) used to say,
    the chickens are coming home to roost.

  15. What wonderful news! I hope the fraudsters don’t get to just walk away with empty pockets – I’m fed up with Green Slime shrugging off their sins and the world letting them get away with it. Crime is crime, and this one was deliberately planned and orchestrated. Eco-campaigner Steven Donziger was set to walk away with 600 MILLION as his personal share – if you or I tried that, we would never again see the outside of a jail cell!

    Chevron, you beauty! Leading the way and showing the world how it’s done. With balls. I hope others take note.

  16. How on earth has there not been an Ethics Complaint submitted to disbar any American attorney involved in this debacle? Surely the federal judge has an obligation to submit it

  17. What disgusts me most about the financing of lawsuits by groups like Burford, is that under the old English Common Law this was both a crime and a tort known as “Champarty”. A couple of hundred years ago our legal system saw this as flagrantly corrupt and criminal behavior, but now we have “advanced” so far that we no longer seem to be able to see anything wrong with it.

  18. YES!!!
    Thank You God, for giving Chevron’s CEO John S Watson the courage to ‘stand your ground’.

    And Thank You again God, for giving U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan the tenacity to dig through the details of the case… and the outtakes from that idiots self-aggrandizing movie… to discover the truth of the fr@ud and deliver the blows of justice about the head and shoulders of the Green Cabal et.al.

    Hot Damn – Yes!!!

  19. I am going to give the John Galt award to both Chevron and Robinson Helicopter.

    My state of the Peoples Republic Of California threatened to impose some new
    Draconian regulations against the oil refineries. Chevron responded by asking
    the Democrats in Sacramento, which of the two refineries (Richmond or El Segundo)
    were they wiling to see closed? And how much tax revenue they were willing to forego.
    The vampire tax suckers backed down in a millisecond!

    The federal legislature called the owner of Robinson Helicopter (Just down the street from me,)
    to testify under oath about the number of crashes and deaths associated with his products.
    He said SCREW YOU! My products meet and exceed all safety standards. I sell cheap
    rotary wing aircraft. In fact, I sell more than any other manufacturer in the world. So it stands
    to reason that there are a higher number of crashes in my product.

    He basically invited them to punish him! He told them fine me, I will shut down my factory and
    deny the local, state and federal government untold millions in tax revenues.

    We need more companies like this!

  20. Not likely the lapdog ass-kissing MSM will have anything to say about it here in the US either – unless they whine about their side getting its ass kicked.
    Kudos to John S Watson and Chevron.

  21. Jim Bo said

    “From Wall Street Journal…

    U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Monday found that New York lawyer Steven Donziger and his litigation team engaged in coercion, bribery, money laundering and other criminal conduct in their effort to obtain a multibillion dollar pollution judgment in Ecuador against Chevron Corp.

    Would it be naive to expect that a federal indictment might be appropriately forthcoming?”

    In a world of standards no. In today world yes it would be naive.

  22. So the case was corrupt, but the judge explicitly says the court has no opinion on the validity of the case. He was only pronouncing on the corruption. Sadly, there’s no statement on whether Texaco/Chevron really does owe damages to Ecuador. I’m sure this will be picked up and used to show that Chevon “lost”.

  23. Rud Istvan says: March 6, 2014 at 8:21 pm
    Chickens are coming home…

    To quote the great French philosopher Eric Cantona

    ‘When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.’

  24. 6 Mar: UK Daily Mail: Matt Chorley: Tory climate change sceptics told to ‘shut it’ by Lib Dem Ed Davey who insists the science is overwhelming
    Energy Secretary launches fresh attack on coalition partners
    Singles out Lord Lawson and Peter Lilley for criticism
    Coalition increasingly split on the need to tackle global warming
    Conservative climate change sceptics have been ordered to ‘shut it’, by the Lib Dems.
    Energy Secretary Ed Davey said there was ‘overwhelming evidence’ of the need to cut carbon emissions…
    Mr Davey told EurActiv, a Brussels-based news website: ‘My recommendation to most politicians who want to talk about the climate is to listen to the scientists and listen to the evidence.
    ‘Of course you can question it, but when there is overwhelming evidence you should tend to shut it.’
    Mr Lilley responded: ‘People who try to silence their critics are revealing their own inability to respond to the arguments that people like I and Nigel Lawson put…
    (following earlier stoush) But Michael Fallon, the senior Tory minister in Mr Davey’s energy department, hit back at his boss, insisting: ‘Unthinking climate change worship has damaged British industry and put up consumer bills.’…
    One Cabinet minister told MailOnline: ‘He just isn’t very bright. Most of the people around the Cabinet table are bright, even if I disagree with them, but not Owen. He isn’t climate sceptic, he’s climate stupid.’
    Today Mr Paterson told BBC Radio 4: ‘The climate is changing and there is clearly a human element.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2574801/Tory-climate-change-sceptics-told-shut-Lib-Dem-Ed-Davey-insists-science-overwhelming.html

  25. I didn’t know what the name of that crime is, wws. Thank you. That historically, is a crime, and is done with intentional will to thwart the interests of justice itself: which of course are that people even have enough faith on the justice system, to rely on it, principly,

    and pursuit of real fairness such that investments and civilizational trade might go forth, in real world terms.

    wws says:
    March 6, 2014 at 8:27 pm
    What disgusts me most about the financing of lawsuits by groups like Burford, is that under the old English Common Law this was both a crime and a tort known as “Champarty”. A couple of hundred years ago our legal system saw this as flagrantly corrupt and criminal behavior, but now we have “advanced” so far that we no longer seem to be able to see anything wrong with it.

  26. I have read multiple articles on this story over the years since the lawsuit was first initiated. The lawsuit was clearly bogus from the outset. If the situation in Ecuador had been so serious and devastating, then why didn’t their government come in and take care of the mess first and then sue afterwards. I imagine that the locals did suffer, but they should have blamed their lousy government for not taking care of their own people.

  27. It is very nice indeed to see the climate hysteria Nazis struggle with their very own golden egg laying goose. If you’re going to make a mess of your mess kit check first for golden eggs provided by big energy.

    If it weren’t for my monthly skeptic stipend from big oil I don’t know how I should survive my retirement years. Sarc off

    Here’s a reality check. Big Energy knows exactly how much energy it takes to run the country. It matters not to them how they provide that energy, it will be provided. The result is X income. If they are required by law to stop doing it cheaply they will still take in X income. If they are required to provide it foolishly per the green sched, they will earn no less than that same X income. Energy policy won’t change on the provision end. In fact if they don’t earn X in energy they will probably find something else to do with their investment dollars. That is the nature of a free economy.

    What does change is the cost to consumers. Every business has got to include the cost of energy in the price of a product. It is settled science that any increase in the cost of production will by paid by the wage earner. This is possible by increasing (reducing the cost of) the labor pool. The government too has no other source of income, and the government has never shown any interest in the problem of wage earner poverty. Their solution is to increase the rate of population growth by importing unskilled labor which pleases big business. Nicely symbiotic. Another fact: when we are driven to poverty we tend to vote for anyone with their hand out if it is clutching the promise of Yankee dollars. So while Barry fiddle’s or golfs, or just tries to keep out from under the angry glare of Michelle, matron saint of boy presidents, the country sloughs off into a financial abyss with nobody of skill at the helm.

  28. I presume that the US Governments next step will be to set the Federal Tax Office on to Judge Lewis Kaplan and try and get him replaced by an activist shill. They are already trying to destroy corporations like Chevron…see: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-04/obama-seeks-100-billion-in-new-taxes-on-multinationals.html
    This minor setback must not be allowed to divert the green gravy train…..There is a planet to be saved from its inhabitants by the chosen ones.

  29. I hope you realize I’m not going to get any sleep tonight because I can’t put down “Judge Kaplan’s Opinion”. I was there in the 1970’s when all this was going down. My most vivid memories are of hundreds of people in line 24 hours a day hoping for work.

  30. And, because I grew up in that neck of the woods, I speak and read Spanish fluently. Therefore I’ll probably read all of the decisions of the Ecuadoran courts. You guys are responsible for my lost productivity for the next week… ;)

  31. Not surprised Russell didn’t want to get out of his air-conditioned car. For those of you who have not been down there, it’s really, really hot and humid. Also, the monkeys throw shit at you.

  32. ‘Indeed. What Kaplan concluded beyond reasonable doubt was that Donziger’s case was constructed on a web of lies, deceit and corruption.’

    For this behaviour a lawyer here would be dispelled from the Dutch Association of Lawyers.

  33. And the snakes try to squeeze you to death, and the ten-foot catfish – forget the piranhas – will attack and eat you. Don’t even get me started on the arachnids and insects.

  34. R. de Haan says:
    March 7, 2014 at 1:10 am>>>>>

    1300 days? More like 20 years, methinks.

  35. This was the moment when the rise of the green menace began to slow and our culture began to heal.

  36. “Talked to Gustavo this morning about the [settling expert] report. I keep thinking we pay them so little, and they know the court’s peritos [experts] make so much, why will they want to keep doing this for us? This was my one bargain with the devil, but we can’t win with the devil b/c they can always pay more. Really frustrating, feel really boxed in.”

    In my opinion, this moment at which, in spite of Donziger’s statement that “This is the way they do it in Ecuador”, it becomes obvious that he was out of his league. He was being played by all sides and had no clue.

  37. From the article:

    4. Donziger’s dodgy past.
    “I feel like I have gone over to the dark side” wrote Donziger in one incriminating email… It seems that he belonged to the same Harvard Law School year group as one Barack Obama. Apparently they played basketball together… Donziger stood personally to make $600 million from the litigation should it prove successful.

    7. The complicit media: if it’s green it must be good.
    There have been several long articles about the Chevron/Ecuador story – one in The New Yorker, one in Vanity Fair, one in Bloomberg Business Week – each one more sympathetic to Donziger than to Chevron. The same has been true virtually everywhere the story has been reported in the media from The New York Times and the Telegraph to the Guardian and The Huffington Post. This isn’t just lazy journalism. It’s a salutory reminder of the degree to which our media, not just on the left but in corners of the centre right, is in thrall to the green propaganda machine.

    + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

    Part and parcel of what Michael Crichton called the PLM — the ‘political-legal-media’ complex that runs constant propaganda in the background of our society, influencing the entire set of low information voters for its own self-serving ends. If Crichton were alive today I think he would add the President of the U.S. himself to this despotic clique.

    They have been very successful, and this will not have much impact on the same voters. But every bit helps. The truth always helps.

  38. _Jim;
    Thanks. Watched Pandora’s Promise. Still selling the “minimize CO2″ meme, but at least makes the logical case for doing it with modern nukes rather than impossibly huge windfarms and solar arrays.

    Fun contrast: that Brazilian beach is about 40x as radioactive as the ruined city of Chernobyl.

  39. “Yesterday we had a 5-hour [meeting] and it was extremely intense and frustrating.
    Went through options on Global [Expert] – had Plans A through E, and I realized
    how difficult this aspect of the case is going to be. Bottom line problem is we will
    have no control over the [expert], who will be appointed by the judge. Pablo and
    our legal team keep insisting that the solution is for the judge to appoint someone
    who is favorable to us, but I don’t trust this approach so far.”

    He still doesn’t seem get it. No one in Ecuador expects a dime out of Chevron, although they’ll take it if it happens. They are all working together to shake down Donziger & Co. In my humble opinion.

  40. Let us hope that all other oil companies take a leaf out of Chevron’s book, and have the backbone to stand up to these green criminals. If they got together and agreed collectively to stop funding any so called ‘Green’ organisation they would not only receive the full support of their shareholders, but also of millions of people worldwide who are becoming sick to death of these lunatics. Come on oil companies, get together and do something about it ; you can still operate an environmentally responsible company without being dragged down by people who rely on your largess for their very survival.

  41. What great news after the depressing week I’ve had. I’m switching exclusively to Chevron gas!

  42. From the article: “Almost none of this information would have come to light in court if Donziger had not made one fatal mistake. In a supreme act of arrogance, he decided to turn his legal adventures into a Michael-Moore-style documentary with himself as the crusading hero …”

    Not encouraging. “Good” only won this round because “evil” was dumb. As Lord Dark Helmet reminds us, it’s usually the other way around:

  43. beththeserf says:
    March 6, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Here in Oz, wonder will ‘our’ ABC cover this?
    More likely cover it up, hmmph.
    ==========
    funny was thinking the same.
    watch abc r williams manage to make it sound as if the bigoil fellas were the bad guys in spite of the ruling.
    or ignore it and refuse to allow comments etc as they usually do.

  44. Wow, I would have thought attempts to pervert the course of justice by lying in court (perjury), fraudulent evidence and bribery of a judge in an attempt to extort billions of dollars would be a big story. Funny I haven’t seen this story on the BBC or in the Guardian or any other Mainstream media?

    Obviously doesn’t suit the tree hugging presstitute’s green agenda.

  45. @goldminor

    “If the situation in Ecuador had been so serious and devastating, then why didn’t their government come in and take care of the mess first and then sue afterwards. I imagine that the locals did suffer, but they should have blamed their lousy government for not taking care of their own people.”

    Well, that might have been a reasonable outcome if the government had developed ‘normally’ over the past few decades. One example is if the economy had developed for the benefit of the general population people might be more empowered and the environment better protected. If the CIA had not assassinated the President (and the President of Panama within a period of 4 months) things might have turned out very differently. You can read about it in, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins whose job it was to screw up the economy of Ecuador and bring the whole country into a condition of debt servitude – something he felt very guilty about later on.

    Judges who will sell their souls for $500,000 are the bread and butter of the pillaging of the economies of developing countries. So in this case the sticky hands of a big oil company look cleaner than the greasy hands of Big Green Slime.

    This is an appalling spectacle. I doubt anyone in Ecuador sees much reason to rejoice.

  46. Brian H says: March 7, 2014 at 1:31 am Watson’s courages decision It was courageous, even.

    “Courage mes braves”. Napoleon at Waterloo, Donziger has met his we can but hope.

  47. philjourdan says:
    March 7, 2014 at 4:18 am
    —————————————
    If he gets debarred, then he can always head to Hollywood.

  48. Crispin in Waterloo says:
    March 7, 2014 at 5:24 am
    ————————————–
    The removal of Noriega was no loss for anyone. I don’t recall what happened in Ecuador. I,ll look it up.

  49. bonanzapilot says:

    March 7, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Not surprised Russell didn’t want to get out of his air-conditioned car. For those of you who have not been down there, it’s really, really hot and humid. Also, the monkeys throw shit at you.

    Which then justified him to throw said excrement at the truth?

  50. Gary Hladik says:
    March 7, 2014 at 2:57 am

    Not encouraging. “Good” only won this round because “evil” was dumb.
    ========================================================
    I suppose it’s wishing for too much that they keep appealing this so the antics become headlines. Greens in collusion and proudly by any means necessary means an ongoing criminal enterprise.

  51. I read the whole opinion. While it’s true that Judge Kaplan declined to rule on the merits of the case against Chevron, it’s also clear that lawyer Donziger’s choice of fraudulent tactics cast enormous doubt on his case. What pushed him over to the “dark side” (in his own words) was the need to fiddle with expert evidence that was looking uncomfortably like an exoneration of Texaco–which had long since remediated its old spill–and like an indictment of the Ecuadorian-government-owened successor drilling operation, which apparently is still spewing crude.

    Nevertheless, strictly speaking, the Kaplan ruling does not overturn the Ecuadorian judgment but only denies Donziger and a few others from benefiting from it by collecting their expected contingency fees: $600 million in Donziger’s case. The Ecuadorian plaintiffs are going right ahead with collection in some South American countries where Chevron still has assets.

  52. The Kaplan decision is 497 pages. I read through the entire original complaint (165 pages) and my curiousity is not not sufficient to motivate me to read the entire decision. From what I did read I was disappointed that Judge Kaplan apparently believes that Donziger et. al. started out with a genuine desire to help the residents of the Orienté and only became corrupted later.

    From the submissions in the Chevron pleading, it was clear there were never grounds to sue Chevron in the first place; Texaco had settled all environmental remediation issues with Ecuador and in 1998 obtained a final release from any further claims, years before they were acquired by Chevron. Donziger and his co-conspirators had to engage in corrupt practices to get the suit heard in the first place. They did not start out with a sincere desire to help poor Ecuadorans harmed by Texaco; they went shopping for plaintiffs, shopping for judges, shopping for crooked experts and shopping for investors to help fund the whole thing.

    At the very end is the actual relief order:

    But we have come full circle. As the Court wrote at the outset, “[t]he issue in this
    case is not what happened in the Orienté more than twenty years ago and who, if anyone, now is
    responsible for any wrongs then done. The issue here, instead, is whether a court decision was
    procured by corrupt means, regardless of whether the cause was just.”

    The decision in the Lago Agrio case was obtained by corrupt means. The defendants
    here may not be allowed to benefit from that in any way. The order entered today will prevent them from doing so.

    The foregoing, together with the appendices to this opinion, constitute the Court’s
    findings of fact and conclusions of law. Defendants’ motions to dismiss [DI 1860, DI 1862] are
    denied.

    After finding that Chevron has been irreparably damaged, Judge Kaplan then orders that any and all judgements collected against Chevron [in fraudulent proceedings!] be held in a “constructive trust” so Donziger et. al. cannot profit from them. Even after finding the defendants had already made provisions to hide judgement proceeds from both US and Ecuadoran courts, he rather surprisingly observes:

    The relief granted here – relief that would prevent Donziger and the LAP Representatives from profiting from the Judgment or seeking to enforce it in this country – would partially remedy and partially prevent the injuries, existing and threatened, that cry out for relief. Certainly it is far better than pursuing fruitless claims for money damages against these three defendants

    So the penalty imposed on Donziger et. al. for various RICO crimes, including fraud, extortion, false court submissions, subornation of perjury, bribery of foreign officials (just off the top of my head), is an order preventing them from collecting any portion of their fraudulent judgement in US courts, and an order that any proceeds they do collect from their fraudulent judgement (presumably in other jurisdictions) be held in a constructive trust.

    This is not justice and it certainly is not a victory against Green extortion. Justice would be Donziger disbarred, all assets seized to compensate Chevron for losses and doing 20 years in Club Fed. Justice would be all the other principals in this fraud treated likewise in proportion to their involvement. Justice would be appropriate monetary judgements against allied law firms which “invested” in this suit and further disbarrment proceedings where warranted.

    Bernie Madoff obviously got a raw deal; he should ask for a new trial.

    You can read the original WUWT posting on this story here . The entire original complaint is here .
    My summary is here , with a slight correction here .

    [Mods: I gather comments with more than two links get flagged; 3 of 4 links here are to previous WUWT postings and the fourth is to the amended complaint in the Chevron RICO suit. Nothing controversial here. Thanks]

  53. George Lawson says: @ March 7, 2014 at 2:47 am

    Let us hope that all other oil companies take a leaf out of Chevron’s book, and have the backbone to stand up to these green criminals….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Your forget that Shell and BP have been in on the scam from the very start. They helped fund CRU for example. And the e-mails talk of getting grants from shell.

    Shell Oil’s VP Ged Davis was an IPCC lead author for scenarios (The scenarios used to generate those climate models) Ged Davis’s scenarios are in the e-mails asking Climate Scientists for comments.

    Enron And BP Invented The Global Warming Industry ” I know because I was in the room.”

  54. I have to admit to being of two minds about rules against champerty.

    Among the arguments against adopting the so-called English (loser-pays) Rule in the US is that it would have a chilling effect on impecunious injured parties’ attempts to vindicate their rights. To the (in fact, limited) extent to which anti-champerty provisions are applied here, they may bolster the argument that the poor can’t get into court. Their existence may thereby tend to militate against adopting the English Rule.

    Since I think loser-pays rules tend to reduce frivolous lawsuits, and since (what I understand to be) the original reason for anti-champerty provisions has pretty much disappeared, there may be some benefit to dropping such vestiges as remain.

  55. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7:
    …my curiousity is not not sufficient to motivate me to read the entire decision.

    I am not so easily bored…. : > )

    Several of the firms and attorneys that got drawn into this come off looking pretty clean. Hard as it is for the public to believe, even lawyers can be innocent victims. Lying to his legal counsel may have been the dumbest thing Donziger did.

  56. Of course the damage is still there because nobody is going to clean it up. This was NEVER about actually cleaning up the damage. It was always about winning at all costs and making as much money as possible.

  57. tagerbaek says:
    March 7, 2014 at 1:55 am

    This was the moment when the rise of the green menace began to slow and our culture began to heal.
    ______________________
    I just counted 12 chickens in my fresh carton of eggs.

  58. It is just so hard not to take a swipe at the legal profession as it descends into the abyss. I passed along the excellent first comment about “Champarty” being illegal to a retired UK lawyer who replied as follows:

    +++++++++
    Could not agree more!

    Even worse we have now imported two more abominations from the USA. No-win-no-fee litigation for personal injuries and advertising by solicitors. These are the results compared with when I was in practice.

    • Every law firm needs an advertising budget. Where does the money come from? Increased fees.
    • The legal profession used to conduct itself with the utmost probity. Now it is inexorably becoming as corrupt as elsewhere in Europe and the English speaking world.
    • Very many specious claims are made against motor insurance for back and whiplash injuries supposedly sustained in collisions.
    • Motor insurance premiums have gone sky high
    • Easy matters used to be handled by an articled clerk, difficult ones by an experienced partner. Now, if you have a good (and therefore easy) personal injury case, the best lawyers are eager to take you on. If you have a difficult case, and need a really good experienced lawyer, they will be too busy maximising their income with easy cases. You will need to take your chances with an inexperienced one.
    • Legal fees continue to increase. A solicitor’s fees now are around £200 an hour plus 20% value added tax = £240 per hour or £4 per minute! The minimum wage is £6 per hour. A partner can charge £500 an hour plus VAT or more, especially in London. The mean average income in the UK is £25,000 per annum before income tax and National Insurance contributions of together say 40%. So you need to be very rich, or so poor you qualify for legal aid, to be able to afford to go to law. A friend of mine is suing to recover a debt of £16,000. The costs estimate is £55,000!

    ++++++++

    With the advocacy firms (to be differentiated from firms of advocates) now losing their shirts and wigs on anti-oil-company excursions, insurances and fees will have to go up again. We continue to have the best justice system money can buy.

  59. @goldminor

    >The removal of Noriega was no loss for anyone. I don’t recall what happened in Ecuador. I,ll look it up.

    John Perkins does not refer to Noreiga, which is a really interesting story too involving some of the the same chaps, but to Torrijos who effectively ran the country http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panamanian_presidential_election,_1978. Perkins’ job was to get Panama deeply into debt as he had been doing with Ecuador with the threat that if Torrijos didn’t sign, he would be removed. Torrijos agreed to approve deals on condition that with each one, something had to actually benefit the poor of Panama. Perkins agreed and they made a number of deals. He was in any case blown up in 1981. But don’t rely on my inadequate memory of it, read Perkins’ account as “he was in the room”.

  60. TRM says:
    March 7, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Of course the damage is still there because nobody is going to clean it up. This was NEVER about actually cleaning up the damage. It was always about winning at all costs and making as much money as possible.

    Environmental damage was cleaned up, per a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) reached by Texaco, PetroEcuador, and the Ecuadoran government in 1994. From my comment on the original WUWT posting (link provided upthread):

    … Chevron, as a successor to Texaco, which engaged in oil drilling there [Ecuador] (as “TexPet”) together with the Ecuadoran state oil company beginning in 1964 and continuing until 1992, when Petroecuador became the sole owner of all the oil fields and other assets, and sole operator. The complaint alleges that far more environmental damage has been done by Petroecuador operations since 1992 than in all the prior years since 1964 when TexPet was the operating partner.

    In late 1994, TexPet, Ecuador and Petroecuador reached a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) regarding the identification and remediation of any environmental damage caused by oil operations while TexPet was the operating partner. Financial responsibility was to be shared by TexPet and Petroecuador, in proportion to their ownership percentages. In 1995 a settlement agreement was reached which detailed all the remediation work and other compensation due, at the conclusion of which TexPet was to be released from any further obligation or responsibility. The remediation was completed in 1998 by a contractor selected by TexPet from a list of acceptable firms supplied by Ecuador, and the parties (TexPet, Petroecuador and Ecuador) executed the “Final Release” in September, 1998. According to the MOU, this was the end of any TexPet obligation.

    You are correct; this [the Donziger suit] was never about cleaning up any real environmental damage (and evidence of alleged damage was tainted by Donziger’s use of biased “experts”). I have no idea what environmental damage might exist there to this day, but anything done after 1992 would be the sole responsbility of PetroEcuador, as would anything that was supposed to be done and paid for by PetroEcuador under the 1994 and 1995 agreements, but was not.

  61. “It is just so hard not to take a swipe at the legal profession … .”

    Yes, completely understandable.

    However, remember, Chevron, did not win this because it sent its accounting department into the courtroom… . The rotten eggs smell so bad (or squawk so loudly) that it is difficult to remember that most of the eggs (eagles) are still good.

    *!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*
    Re: evil only losing when it is uncharacteristically stupid —

    Au contraire, Evil ALWAYS loses in the end because its hubris ALWAYS takes it a bridge too far. Greed, pride, arrogance, power-madness, etc., have, thank the Lord, built in self-destruction: blindness and folly take them over the cliff EVERY time.
    (Further, while many of you do not believe this, I say it to remind those who do: God is fighting on the side of Good. God is far stronger than Evil.)

    In the end, TRUTH WINS. Every time. Pull that history book from off the shelf and check it out!
    #(:))

    Courage, mes amis!

  62. Texan99 says:
    March 7, 2014 at 6:54 am
    “The Ecuadorian plaintiffs are going right ahead with collection in some South American countries where Chevron still has assets.”

    Who’s leading those collection efforts? If it’s Donziger & Co, I suspect he’ll just end up being shaken down for more “facilitating fees”. Similar to a Nigerian bank scam.

  63. The whole philosophy of bogus law suits such as this and those of the ‘Distinguished Professor’ have their origins in the actions of Sue, Grabbit & Runne, senior counsel to the British Establishment.

  64. Apparently, some of the fallout has already occurred. From a May 2013 Denver Post article regarding the consulting firm in question:

    Stratus co-founder and executive vice president Douglas Beltman, who headed the firm’s Ecuador study, stated in an affidavit that he “disavow(s) any and all findings and conclusions in all of my reports and testimony on the Ecuador project. I deeply regret that I allowed myself and my company to be used in the … litigation in the way that we were.”

    Beltman was subsequently fired by Stratus.

    Read more: Boulder’s Stratus Consulting played key role in Ecuador oil field fight – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/ci_23320395/boulders-stratus-consulting-played-key-role-ecuador-oil#ixzz2vIs0VYIm

  65. @ Peter Miller — LOL. Yes, and no doubt, Lye, Cheatham, & Howe were skulking about, too.
    #(:))

  66. Crispin in Waterloo says:>>>>>
    I think Perkins is basically correct in “Hitman”, although I don’t buy the part about his female “trainer”. Getting too far in debt does eventually put you at the mercy of the lender, and the IMF, if I remember correctly, did convince Ecuador to borrow money to build a hydroelectric dam, and an American contractor got the job.

  67. Texan99 says:
    March 7, 2014 at 6:54 am
    “The Ecuadorian plaintiffs are going right ahead with collection in some South American countries where Chevron still has assets.”

    Who’s leading those collection efforts? If it’s Donziger & Co, I suspect he’ll just end up being shaken down for more “facilitating fees”. Similar to a Nigerian bank victim.

  68. Good on Chevron, now if they would only cut off contributions to the slimey side…The oil companies of course came to embrace the green as a protection racket against the nuisance of protesters and bad press. They probably had meetings where the green said we have to lambaste you guys from time to time for optical reasons but we will show some restraint given your support.

    Add to this, once the greens got a critical mass of renewables into the works, hey, why not have big oil take a large piece of the action. They are going to be penalized by taxes and regulations on the one hand and susidized and given immunity from regulations even protecting endangered species. It was a business decision – honest and above board. They weren’t responsible for a sucker being born every minute.

  69. ” Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says: March 7, 2014 at 9:18 am
    I have no idea what environmental damage might exist there to this day, but anything done after 1992 would be the sole responsbility of PetroEcuador, as would anything that was supposed to be done and paid for by PetroEcuador under the 1994 and 1995 agreements, but was not.”

    Apparently there are still huge areas affected. As usual corruption in third world countries takes the money and leaves a mess. Yes everything post 92 is all on PetroEcuador but if they can take the money and then claim it wasn’t their mess but the previous lease holders they can sue again and again.

    Fortunately their malfeasance caught up to them this time. Now if only we could get that judge on some of Dr Mann’s lawsuits!!!

  70. Will the Ecuadorian prosecution service or equivalent be seeking the extradition of those involved ?

  71. Chad Wozniak says:
    March 6, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Not likely the lapdog ass-kissing MSM will have anything to say about it here in the US either – unless they whine about their side getting its ass kicked.

    That’s exactly what they’re doing. Listening to the NPR report, they did accurately report that Chevron’s win was because of widespread fraud on the part of plaintiffs. But it was hard to tell that because the beginning, middle, and end of every sentence was “..but there really was and is pollution there – no one is denying that….”

  72. Crispin in Waterloo says:
    March 7, 2014 at 9:14 am
    ++++++++++++++++++++++
    Gen. Omar Torrijos died in the crash of a Panamanian Air Force DHC6 during a severe storm. Allegations of conspiracy remain just that, allegations.of conspiracy.

  73. I grew up in what was once the world’s third largest producing oil field. I’ve seen oil spills. They are a temporary blight and nature cleans them up. After a few years, no trace remains.
    I have no idea of the extent of any of Texaco- caused oil field damages in Ecuador, only that after all this time, nature will have erased most/all spills under a scorching jungle sun.
    On a completely different scale, traces of the 11 million gallon Exxon Valdez spill remain in Prince William Sound and along the Alaska coast after 20+ years, under much colder conditions. From the NOAA website: “A casual observer would not likely see signs of the oil spill today in Prince William Sound… However, there is still residual oil to be found. The remaining oil generally lies below the surface of the beaches in those places that are very sheltered from the actions of wind and wave (which help to break down and remove stranded oil), and those beaches where oil initially penetrated very deeply and was not removed.”

  74. J Martin says:
    March 7, 2014 at 11:28 am
    Will the Ecuadorian prosecution service or equivalent be seeking the extradition of those involved?
    ==========================
    Highly unlikely. It would be a long process, and very expensive. Their job is to take “facilitating payments” from uninformed targets, who they string along for as long as possible. Engaging in a long term legal strategy which would require them to pay money out is not in their play book.

    Besides, they probably don’t see anything enethical. As one of my oldest Latin American mentors is fond of saying, “It’s not that they are crooks, they just have completely different ideas of right right and wrong than we do.”

    This all goes back to Spanish Rule, when the Viceroys earned their incomes by accepting payments for favors. It is very deeply embedded in the culture.

  75. This is an old video which shows that Texaco was definitely remiss in their oil production methods and left operations with open sludge pits and the like. If Texaco paid large sums of money for mitigation after the fact, then either they paid to directly clean up the mess, or they paid the Ecuadoran government. In any case, how does Chevron have anything to do with it, other than having deep pockets to pick?

  76. GAIL! #(:))

    Sure hope you see this. I responded to you on that Reax whatever whatever thread. AND I have a comment there today to you that has been in moderation since 10:34am, so,

    Here’s the link!: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/06/more-reax-to-lewis-and-crok-what-the-ipcc-knew-but-didnt-tell-us/#comment-1584613

    I didn’t blow you off. Please forgive my inadequate, hasty, answer at 1:21 on that same thread.

    Thanks for letting me know you saw this,

    Janice

    (love your friend’s firm’s name, too, heh)

  77. Hal Dall says:
    March 7, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Note that the judge was appointed by a anti-enviro right-wing President: http://judgepedia.org/Lewis_Kaplan

    To make it even worse, that right-wing nutjob’s wife was part of the legal team that tried to gratuitously destroy the reputation of the President who gave us the EPA. I mean, how much more anti-green can you get?

  78. Doesn’t matter who appointed this judge he recognized legal BS and made the correct call. I hope he refers these people for prosecution, as this is a criminal enterprise and should definitely be subject to prosecution. The lawyer should also be disbarred.

  79. A “valid” judge, for lack of a better word, is supposed to make sure everybody is playing by the rules regardless of his/her personal beliefs or opinions. This judge spotted someone breaking the rules and called the parasite on it.
    Good Call!

  80. “Environmental Damage”. Just what does that mean anymore? If you listen to the Hansenites then every time you or one of nature’s critters exhales “Environmental Damage” is the result. If some evil oil on the ground causes “Environmental Damage” then what damage has it caused while it’s underground? If I cut my grass or shovel my driveway am I causing “Environmental Damage”? I changed something.
    I think “Environmental Damage” today means the damage caused by Environmentalist. Progressives retarding progress.

  81. Alan Robertson says:
    March 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    If Texaco paid large sums of money for mitigation after the fact, then either they paid to directly clean up the mess, or they paid the Ecuadoran government. In any case, how does Chevron have anything to do with it, other than having deep pockets to pick?

    Texaco was acquired by Chevron (actually a subsidiary of Chevron). Following normal legal doctrines Chevron thereby becomes the successor and assign for all of Texaco’s assets and liabilities, including legal liabilities.

    This is one of the things corporate legal departments work very hard to discover when considering an acquisition or merger and I don’t doubt Chevron’s attorneys examined this very issue before approving the purchase. In this case Texaco, operating in Ecuador as TexPet, had obtained a final release from all further liability for environmental damage caused during the period 1964 – 1992 when they were the operating partner. Normally, that would be the end of it and that is certainly what the Chevron attorneys thought.

    The Chevron suit did not mention how much money Texaco had paid to remediate environmental damage or provide any description of the damage; these issues are not relevant to this dispute. The key item is both PetroEcuador (the state-owned oil company of Ecuador) and the Ecuadoran government signed off on the description of the damages and the remediation details. The Ecuadoran government provided a list of acceptable contractors from which Texaco made the selection. The parties later signed off that all the agreed-to remediation had been completed.

    To reopen the issue and breach the signed “final release” of 1998 took multiple acts of fraud and corruption, which is why Donziger should be looking at 20 years in prison instead of merely having to deposit his ill-gotten loot in a “constructive trust”.

  82. Alan Robertson says:
    March 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    This is an old video which shows that Texaco was definitely remiss …

    You’ll notice this video was produced by “Amazon Watch”, one of the parties acting in cahoots with Donziger and his co-conspirators. Donziger used several rent-a-mob green groups to stage various kinds of “direct action” — picketing shareholder meetings and other events, to maximize bad publicity for Chevron.

  83. To amplify previous comments about Amazon Watch, read the amended complaint, starting page 85 (sorry; it’s a PDF of a scan, so I can’t copy&paste it) for a description of Donziger’s coordination with a number of these groups. Amazon Watch was listed as the most important; they were essentially paid attack dogs to damage Chevron’s reputation and threaten the “personal comfort level” of Chevron executives.

    The amended complaint can be downloaded here . You will want to download and save it locally rather than try to access it through your browser.

  84. I am always happy to see “Big Mean Green” set back on its tail. Those idealist extortionists are gradually taking over the world. And in the process are damaging and preventing practical ‘relatively green’ solutions arising. In this case I have no doubt a lot of environmental damage was done, and I accept it was largely cleaned up by Chevron, and we now also know that oil does biodegrade quite handily and quickly.

    But the power of big business today worries the hell out of me. For example, don’t think for a moment that those big multinational interlinked and and government infiltrated financial organizations don’t love the idea of carbon trading, and are doing everything they can to make it work.

    It is well worth reading the New Yorker article to get a slightly more nuanced view of the case:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/01/09/120109fa_fact_keefe?currentPage=all

    Donziger’s motivations may not have been only about money, Chevron played their share of tricks, Judge Kaplan made some very extreme decisions in the case, and Chevron are spending more per year for decades than an earlier settlement would have cost.

    And the power of big business and the scale of money legal firms are paid is mind-boggling.

    Here are some interesting extracts:

    “The meek shall inherit the earth,” the oilman J. Paul Getty once observed. “But not its mineral rights.”

    [..] Randy Mastro [says] [...] This suit is driven not by poor Ecuadorans, [...] but by “lawyers and consultants and financiers.”

    Donziger’s ambition was certainly grandiose, but it seemed motivated as much by a combative idealism as by a desire for riches. He wanted to recalibrate the power dynamic that had traditionally made it difficult for marginalized foreigners to sue American companies. He felt that he was creating a viable “business model for a human-rights case.”
    […]
    In August, 2009, Chevron [...] released video footage that allegedly implicated the judge then presiding over the Lago Agrio case, Juan Nuñez, in a bribery scheme. An Ecuadoran businessman named Diego Borja had been hoping to secure a cleanup contract in the event of a judgment against Chevron. But when Borja met with the judge and a Correa administration official, the company explained, he was informed that he first needed to pay a million dollars each to Nuñez, to the administration, and to the Lago Agrio plaintiffs. Borja and an associate secretly recorded the discussions, using cameras embedded in a watch and a pen. Charles James, a Chevron executive, declared, “This information absolutely disqualifies the judge and nullifies anything that he has ever done in this case.”

    Judge Nuñez stepped aside. But he insisted that he was innocent. The videos, which Chevron posted online, showed Borja and the official elliptically discussing the possibility of a bribe with Nuñez, but offered no proof that the judge had solicited or accepted one. Nuñez told me that the scandal was a setup, and Donziger has called the incident “a Chevron sting.” It has subsequently emerged that the purported Correa administration official was in fact a Quito car salesman and part-time caterer, whose name does not appear in a party database of registered members. The businessman, Borja, was a former Chevron contractor.

    Chevron insists that it did not prompt Borja to raise discussions about paying bribes, and says that he was not compensated for his efforts. But, according to court documents, Borja and his wife were relocated, at Chevron’s expense, to the U.S., and supplied with a house, a car, a generous monthly stipend, and the services of a top criminal-defense attorney. The attorney would not make Borja available to speak with me, but a friend of Borja’s, Santiago Escobar, told me that Judge Nuñez was innocent, and that Borja concocted the scheme to entrap him. “He’s not a good Samaritan,” Escobar said. “He was looking for money.”
    […]

    But, if [green guide] Moncayo’s cadences were rote, there was nothing feigned about his indignation. He led me down a steep ravine to a creek. [...] the water, which was only a foot deep, looked crystalline. Moncayo drove a stick into the creek bed and churned the mud until the water grew clouded by sediment. [...] … I skimmed my hand across the surface of the creek. My palm was coated in an acrid film.
    [...]

    Jim Craig, a Chevron spokesman, took me around Lago Agrio. He told me that the company has taken its own water samples in the Oriente, and has never identified a positive reading for hydrocarbon contamination. He speculated that, in some cases, the plaintiffs may have “spiked” local water sources after Chevron did its tests.
    […]

    Normally, a lawyer who is subpoenaed creates a log of any confidential documents to be withheld. But Chevron was requesting Donziger’s entire case file—documents spanning nearly two decades—and Donziger did not have a staff of associates to help him go through it. When he failed to deliver a privilege log that met Kaplan’s approval, the judge [...] granted Chevron access to Donziger’s confidential documents. Donziger was forced to turn over two hundred thousand pages of material.

    Twenty Gibson, Dunn associates set to work reviewing stacks of memos and e-mails marked “Confidential” and “Attorney Work Product.” They averaged five thousand pages a day.

    Gibson, Dunn also requested, and received, Donziger’s tax returns, his bank-account information, and his personal computers. Technicians forensically scanned his hard drives, and Gibson, Dunn copied everything they found. An attorney for Donziger protested that this meant that Chevron’s lawyers could interrogate his communications with his wife, as well as other unrelated matters.“He doesn’t have any other matters,” Kaplan said. “This is his life.”

    Kaplan’s decision was extreme; rarely had such a wealth of sensitive material been handed to a legal adversary. As Gibson, Dunn attorneys fanned across the country, appearing before seventeen federal courts to request further information, one appellate judge noted that the sheer extent of this kind of discovery was “unique in the annals of American judicial history.”
    [….]
    [re Donziger’s diary notes:] Donziger had worried that Yánez could be manipulated into making a corrupt ruling. But, in urging him to remain upright, the plaintiffs were exploiting Yánez’s vulnerabilities as leverage. “So instead of a strong judge who sees the viability of our case,” Donziger wrote, “we now might have a weak judge who wants to rule correctly for all the wrong, personal reasons.”
    [….]

    Mastro […] asked Judge Kaplan to bar Donziger and his colleagues from trying to collect on the judgment not just in New York but anywhere in the world. [….]

    Kaplan was sympathetic to this position. As he put it, “I don’t think there is anybody in this courtroom who wants to pull his car into a gas station to fill up and find that there isn’t any gas because these folks have attached it in Singapore or wherever else.” He granted the injunction.
    [….]

    …. If Kaplan’s injunction was upheld, it would create a major precedent, effectively allowing American courts to pass judgment on the transparency or corruption of their foreign counterparts, and set aside verdicts against American companies when the legal systems issuing them were deemed problematic. The prospect was breathtaking: Chevron looked poised not only to avoid liability but also to acquire greater immunity in its actions abroad. Shell, Dole, and Dow Chemical submitted a brief to the court, urging it to side with Chevron. On September 16th, three appellate judges took their seats in a courtroom in downtown Manhattan. […]

    The oral arguments took place on a Friday. Normally, appeals courts take several months after hearing arguments to rule on a case, but the judges were ready the following Monday. In a terse, unanimous decision, they reversed Judge Kaplan, and dissolved the injunction.
    […]

    Chevron has appealed the eighteen-billion-dollar judgment in Ecuador. It has also tried to block the lawsuit by appealing to an arbitration tribunal in The Hague. But the case could still end in a settlement.
    […]

    …in 2001 the plaintiffs indicated, in writing, that they would drop their claims in exchange for a hundred and forty million dollars. But, on the eve of the Chevron merger, Texaco walked away from the offer. Chevron will not comment, but the plaintiffs estimate that the company now spends roughly that amount each year to fight the case.

  85. From the New York Times:


    But Chevron turned the tables on him by gaining access in Judge Kaplan’s court to outtakes of the film that highlighted his unorthodox style. One outtake filmed in an Ecuadorean restaurant showed a consultant telling Mr. Donziger that there was no evidence that contamination had spread from the oil pits. But Mr. Donziger was unpersuaded. “This is Ecuador, O.K.,” he said. “At the end of the day, there are a thousand people around the courthouse; you will get whatever you want. Sorry, but it’s true.”

  86. markx says:
    March 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    It is well worth reading the New Yorker article to get a slightly more nuanced view of the case:

    Well, I laughed, so your comment didn’t go entirely unappreciated.

  87. Stark Dick says: March 8, 2014 at 11:11 am

    “markx says….. well worth reading the New Yorker article to get a slightly more nuanced view of the case:”
    Well, I laughed, so your comment didn’t go entirely unappreciated.

    Hi Stark,

    I am pleased that you read it. No doubt Chevron have used their own full array of dirty tricks, and I am sure a full reading of all their correspondence and computer hard drives would be interesting. In much the same way the climategate emails were.

    All publications/ media outlets tend to have their own political/other leanings; even this good site belonging to Anthony Watts. You can agree with them, disagree with them, laugh at them or cry at them, and all is well and good.

    But, you ignore them at your peril.

  88. The Chevron Press Release, March 4. (via Linked In)
    U.S. Court Declares Ecuador Judgment Against Chevron Corporation Fraudulent, Unenforceable

    Today’s ruling prohibits Donziger and his associates from seeking to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment in the United States and further prohibits them from profiting from their illegal acts. ….

    An international arbitration tribunal in The Hague has already ruled that the Republic of Ecuador released Texaco – and therefore Chevron – from liability for all public interest or collective environmental claims through agreements signed in the 1990s.

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