Sensational new fraud allegations in Chevron-Ecuador case

by Walter Olson on January 28, 2013

Roger Parloff at Fortune on eye-popping new allegations in a case we’ve been following for a long time (e.g.):

In Manhattan federal district court this morning, Chevron filed the declaration of a former Ecuadorian judge, Alberto Guerra, who describes how he and a second former judge, Nicolás Zambrano, allegedly allowed the plaintiffs lawyers to ghostwrite their entire 188-page, $18.2 billion judgment against Chevron [in the Lago Agrio environmental litigation] in exchange for a promise of $500,000 from the anticipated recovery.

The bribery charge is completely new, and the ghostwriting charge is more sweeping and better substantiated than before.

Since some readers may be having a hard time keeping all the case’s scandals straight, here’s a précis. Chevron has now presented evidence of two distinct, large-scale, ghostwriting frauds which, among other problems, it maintains, taint the Ecuadorian judgment.

Complicating Chevron’s claims of vindication — and opening an avenue for the plaintiff’s camp to argue against giving any credence to the new allegations — the oil company acknowledges that it has made and intends to go on making payments of “living expenses” to the former Ecuadorian judge, now resident with his family in the United States. Read the whole thing here.

More from Kevin Williamson at National Review Online:

Curious fact: As a senator, Barack Obama did see fit to intervene in the Chevron case — on the side of the Ecuadoran government. After meeting with an old basketball buddy — the abovementioned Mr. Donziger, who stands to make billions of dollars as the plaintiffs’ attorney in the case — Barack Obama wrote a letter to the U.S. trade representative arguing that Ecuador’s actions should not be held against the regime when negotiating trade privileges. Donziger, with the help of a $10,000-a-month lobbyist, also got Andrew Cuomo to threaten to intervene in the case, even though the jurisdiction of the Empire State stops well north of Ecuador.

Yet more: Daniel Fisher, Forbes.

{ 2 trackbacks }

AP/WaPo on Chevron maneuvering - Overlawyered
01.31.13 at 12:15 pm
PCA Tribunal ‘Benchslaps’ Ecuador in Ongoing Chevron-Lago Agrio Dispute « THE TRIAL WARRIOR BLOG
02.08.13 at 8:22 pm

{ 4 comments }

1 DensityDuck 01.28.13 at 6:28 pm

Between this and the Ringling Bros/ASPCA, it’s been a bad couple of months for the notion of activism through legal proceedings.

2 boblipton 01.28.13 at 7:59 pm

Having established in their own minds that they are the good guys and their opponents are the bad guys, insisting on the truth would get in the way of the Right Thing being done.

Your lack of understand of this, Density Duck, merely shows that you are not a Good Guy.

Bob

3 ras 01.28.13 at 11:04 pm

So the circus clowns won one and the circus clowns lost one.

Different circuses, though.

4 wfjag 01.29.13 at 10:59 am

To paraphrase “The Kingfish”, Huey P. Long — What good’s a Judge who won’t stay bought?

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