Tag Archives: Ecuador

USA/Ecuador: New York Bar Trying to Block Donziger From Presenting Evidence of Chevron Fraud and Witness Bribery in Secret Licensing Hearing

November 30, 2018

Lawyers Dopico and Goldstein Seek Court Order to Deny Human Rights Lawyer Public Hearing Where He Can Challenge His Suspension

Lawyers from the New York bar grievance committee are seeking an extraordinary court order to block U.S. human rights attorney Steven Donziger from presenting explosive evidence of Chevron’s fraud and witness bribery that he says was relied on to illegally suspend his law license without a hearing after helping Ecuadorian Indigenous groups win a landmark $12 billion pollution judgment.

Earlier this week, New York bar staff attorneys Jorge Dopico and Naomi Goldstein obtained an order from a New York appellate judge staying Donziger’s two-day fact hearing which had been scheduled to begin Dec. 4 in Manhattan. Donziger, whose law license was suspended in July without a hearing, was going to present the evidence of Chevron’s fraud after a court-appointed referee issued a hugely important ruling last month allowing the attorney to challenge the 2014 pro-Chevron findings of federal judge Lewis A. Kaplan in a civil racketeering case.

The stay will allow a New York court time to determine whether it will overturn the bar referee’s procedural decision favoring Donziger in the middle of an ongoing attorney disciplinary proceeding – something that is virtually unprecedented in the history of New York, according to several attorneys in the state. “It appears to our team that the bar staff lawyers in New York are nervous about letting Steven expose the truth about Chevron’s fraud, which might embarrass Judge Kaplan and other judges to whom the staff attorneys must answer,” said Patricio Salazar, the Ecuadorian lawyer against Chevron and a colleague of Donziger.

The referee in the case, John Horan, had examined the Kaplan RICO trial and concluded there might be support for Donziger’s long-held contention he did not get a fair trial.  He also questioned whether Kaplan violated Donziger’s constitutional right to due process by denying him a jury of impartial fact finders even though he was effectively facing criminal charges, albeit in the context of a civil case with a relaxed evidentiary standard.

Long known as a pro-business judge who maintained undisclosed investments in Chevron during his trial, Kaplan effectively “created a criminal indictment” and tried Donziger for conspiracy, said Horan. “It is doubtful that is an indictment in the same terms had been brought by the United States Attorney, (Donziger) would have elected to have a trial by a single judge and would have waived his right to a trial by jury,” Horan wrote.

Donziger has categorically challenged each of the Kaplan findings, saying they are based primarily on false or decontextualized evidence and Kaplan’s stubborn refusal to consider the voluminous scientific evidence of Chevron’s environmental contamination in Ecuador.

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41589-New-York-Bar-Trying-to-Block-Donziger-From-Presenting-Evidence-of-Chevron-Fraud-and-Witness-Bribery-in-Secret-Licensing-Hearing

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41601-Donziger-Wins-Right-for-Public-to-Attend-Bar-Hearing-Where-He-Plans-to-Challenge-Kaplan-RICO-Findings

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-donziger/chevrons-amazon-chernobyl_b_7435926.html

http://stevendonziger.com/

https://www.nycbar.org/

https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2018/11/27/nota/7071576/replica-solicitada-chevron (ESPANOL)

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USA/Ecuador: Lawyer who battled Chevron may get chance to defend himself

November 16, 2018

Image result for steven donziger

A New York attorney who won a landmark oil pollution judgment against Chevron in Ecuador’s court system only to have his law license suspended at home for malpractice never got a fair hearing and should be allowed to defend himself against disbarment, a legal referee has ruled.

The decision involves Steven Donziger, who led a legal team representing Ecuadoreans trying to get Chevron to pay for environmental damage caused to a rainforest by Texaco during its operation of an oil consortium from 1972 to 1990.

The legal campaign begun in 1993 was ultimately successful in Ecuador. A court there ordered Chevron to pay $9.5 billion. But in 2014, a judge in New York, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, invalidated the Ecuador judgment, deeming it was obtained through legal malpractice.

In July, a New York State appeals court suspended Donziger without a hearing based on Kaplan’s ruling that the attorney’s Ecuador team submitted bogus evidence, ghostwrote a court-appointed expert’s report and promised the judge who ultimately ruled a $500,000 bribe.

Donziger fought those findings, saying they were built on fraudulent testimony obtained through Chevron’s bribing of witnesses.

A court-appointed referee, John R. Horan, ruled on Nov. 8 that Donziger deserves a hearing to defend himself. He also questioned whether Kaplan violated Donziger’s constitutional right to due process.

Kaplan effectively “created a criminal indictment” and tried Donziger for conspiracy, Horan said.

https://www.dailyherald.com/article/20181116/news/311169809

http://www.tribtown.com/2018/11/16/us-chevron-ecuador-lawyer/

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41554-Musician-Roger-Waters-In-Ecuador-To-Support-Amazon-Peoples-Who-Won-Landmark-Judgment-Against-Chevron

https://www.stl.news/tag/law-license-suspended/

https://www.stl.news/tag/attorney-steven-donziger/

http://stevendonziger.com/

https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2018/11/16/nota/7054437/eeuu-arbitro-falla-favor-abogado-antichevron (ESPANOL)

USA/Ecuador/Canada: Peter Foster: Corruption, Pink Floyd and Aboriginal rights walk into Banff’s ‘post-normal’ law conference

November 9, 2018

The conference seems to represent what might be described as ‘post-normal law.’ It is the law of taking sides

This weekend sees a conference in Banff that should be of interest to all those concerned about the rule of law, and the forces undermining it. Titled “Indigenous Solutions for Environmental Challenges,” the conference’s “context” is the US$8.6 billion (at last count) judgment in an Ecuadorean court against U.S. oil company Chevron. According to the conference’s website, the Chevron case will be used “to consider the critical role of judicial remedies for violations of the rights of indigenous and other affected peoples… both in Canada and beyond.”

With the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on judicial hold, and capital evacuating the Canadian oil patch due to legislative uncertainties, the topic is timely. But if “hard cases make bad law,” then corrupt cases threaten very bad law indeed.

Two U.S. courts have determined that the Ecuadorean decision was the result of a fraud engineered by U.S. lawyer, Steve Donziger (who will appear at the conference). Donziger claims this is all a Chevron campaign to “vilify him” for innocent “errors in judgment.” Earlier this year, Donziger’s licences to practice law in the U.S. were suspended.

Conference organizer Kathleen Mahoney, a law professor at the University of Calgary, told me this week in an email that she denies the conference is about applying “pressure to bear on Chevron to come to the table,” but those are the words used more than a year ago in her letter to Donziger proposing the conference, and suggesting he support it (the letter is reprinted below). The letter, part of a contempt motion filed by Chevron against Donziger, redacted until recently, was last month ordered fully disclosed by a New York court. The court exhibit shows Donziger passed the letter to colleagues with the comment: “Please do not send around. This is potentially breakthrough stuff…. Kathleen is (former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations) Phil Fontaine’s wife and she is a major force in Canada as a human rights lawyer and activist.”

Peter Foster: Corruption, Pink Floyd and Aboriginal rights walk into Banff’s ‘post-normal’ law conference

LILLEY: Stink of corruption hangs over environmental conference

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/chevron-case-shakedown-ecuador-roger-waters/

https://hotair.com/archives/2018/11/01/pink-floyd-connected-chevron-shakedown/

https://www.triplepundit.com/podium/chevron-facing-new-obstacles-over-12b-ecuador-pollution-liability-as-death-toll-rises-in-amazon-rainforest/

https://oaklandnewsnow.com/index.php/2018/11/13/chevron-ecuador-attorney-steven-donziger-once-the-toast-of-hollywood-is-now-simply-toast/

http://stevendonziger.com/

 

USA/Ecuador: Chevron Intimidation Led Boston Mother to Sign False Affidavit Attacking Landmark Ecuador Pollution Judgment

October 25, 2018

Chevron Feeling “Heat” From Asset Seizure Action In Canada As Company Lawyers Try to Pressure Witnesses Based On False Evidence

In a stunning confession, a Boston-area financial manager and mother of four who raised funds for Amazon Indigenous peoples has admitted under oath that Chevron lawyers successfully intimidated her to sign an affidavit with false statements designed by the oil giant to undermine its $9.5 billion Ecuador pollution liability.

Chevron’s pressure tactics were directed against Katie Sullivan, a business owner who had spent months successfully assisting Ecuadorian Indigenous and farmer villagers raise funds to challenge the oil giant. They also come at a time when the company is under enormous pressure in Canada as the Ecuadorian villagers try to seize critical company assets, an effort backed by the nation’s largest Indigenous federation (Assembly of First Nations) which represents 653 tribes. In addition, 36 institutional Chevron shareholders in the U.S. recently challenged CEO Michael Wirth over his mishandling of the Ecuador litigation.

Sullivan, whose owns a company called Streamline Family Office that manages assets for wealthy families, testified in a sworn deposition on September 28 that she lived in “fear” from Chevron before signing an affidavit written entirely by company lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm who have been directed by Wirth to retaliate against the Ecuadorians and their legal advisors, primarily Harvard Law graduate and New York human rights advocate Steven R. Donziger. Chevron has used false testimony, witness bribery, and fraudulent evidence to try to taint Donziger and other lawyers for the Ecuadorians, according to evidence summarized in a criminal referral letter against the company submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Donziger said Chevron subpoenaed Sullivan last March for documents as part of its long-running campaign to seek “dirt” on him and supporters for the Indigenous peoples. Chevron then forced Sullivan to sit for two sworn depositions. It was during the second of these that she admitted under questioning from Donziger that Chevron lawyers pressured her to sign off on several false statements, all an apparent violation of ethics rules governing attorney conduct.

In her sworn testimony on Sept. 28, Sullivan made the following admissions under oath:

**That Chevron lawyers Robert Blume and Anne Champion were part of a team from the Gibson Dunn law firm that wrote the entirety of her 23-page affidavit.

**That Chevron lawyers failed to incorporate several of her requested changes to the affidavit before she signed it under pressure just minutes before the start of her second deposition while “praying” the company’s litigation against her would end.

**That her affidavit contained multiple misleading or false statements written by Chevron lawyers intended to taint Donziger for which she possessed no knowledge, and which were demonstrably false.

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41480-Chevron-Intimidation-Led-Boston-Mother-to-Sign-False-Affidavit-Attacking-Landmark-Ecuador-Pollution-Judgment

https://www.law360.com/articles/1095664/donziger-is-thumbing-his-nose-at-injunction-chevron-says

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41487-Global-Conference-on-Indigenous-Rights-and-Environment-Set-to-Launch-Nov-10-in-Canadian-Rockies

https://legalnewsline.com/stories/511612297-more-info-on-donziger-released-lawyer-gained-multibillion-dollar-verdict-against-chevron-through-fraud-judge-has-ruled

http://stevendonziger.com/

USA/Ecuador: Major Environmental Groups Back Steven Donziger in Battle With Chevron Over Historic Ecuador Pollution Judgment

October 9, 2018

With Canada’s Supreme Court backing Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples against Chevron, some of the world’s leading environmental groups have thrown their support behind leading U.S. human rights attorney Steven Donziger as the oil giant continues its unprecedented retaliation campaign targeting those who held it accountable for the dumping of billions of gallons of toxic oil waste in the Amazon.

Donziger is widely considered the target of the most well-financed and vicious corporate retaliation campaign in history, with Chevron spending at least $2 billion on 60 law firms to try to undermine him with an avowed “demonization” campaign after he helped Ecuadorian Indigenous peoples and farmer communities win a $9.5 billion pollution judgment in Ecuador. To retaliate, Chevron used fraudulent evidence from a paid witness to obtain a non-monetary “fraud” judgment from a sole U.S. trial judge against Donziger.

That decision, from Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, has been rejected or ignored by 17 appellate judges in Ecuador and 12 in Canada, including by the entire Supreme Courts of both countries. Chevron had fought to have the environmental case heard in Ecuador, where the company was convicted in 2011 of dumping billions of gallons of cancer-causing oil waste that poisoned huge areas of the Amazon and decimated Indigenous groups and farmer communities with a public health catastrophe. (Here is a summary of the evidence against Chevron.)

In the last two weeks, London-based Global Witness put out an alert in support of Donziger, as did U.S.-based Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network.

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41436-Major-Environmental-Groups-Back-Steven-Donziger-in-Battle-With-Chevron-Over-Historic-Ecuador-Pollution-Judgment

https://oaklandnewsnow.com/index.php/2018/10/04/steven-donziger-chevron-ecuador-lawyer-now-stripped-of-law-license-in-washington-d-c-on-top-of-new-york-state/

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41417-Chevron-Attacks-on-Human-Rights-Attorney-Steven-Donziger-Fail-Basic-Due-Process-Says-London-based-Global-Witness

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkrauss/2018/10/14/the-fraudulent-case-against-chevron-will-steven-donziger-be-held-in-contempt/

http://stevendonziger.com/

USA/Ecuador: Attorney Steven Donziger Files Human Rights Petition Claiming U.S. Judiciary Failed to Protect Him From Vicious Chevron Retaliation Campaign

September 25, 2018

Image result for steven donziger

Renowned U.S. human rights attorney Steven Donziger, who has helped impoverished communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon maintain a global litigation and advocacy effort against Chevron for over 25 years, filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) on Monday. The petition details how Donziger (bio here) has suffered a massive campaign of retaliatory litigation and media attacks from Chevron that has been facilitated by U.S. judicial and other institutions. Chevron has openly bragged of its efforts to “demonize Donziger,” has frozen Donziger’s bank accounts, and recently asked a U.S. court to imprison him.

(Here is the full copy of Donziger’s petition.)

The new petition raises broader issues of the ability of corporations to abuse the legal process to silence critics and punish adversaries with “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation,” or SLAPPs. The SLAPP problem has been identified for decades, but recent years have seen a massive uptick in such cases. Greenpeace, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations recently launched a national campaign to raise awareness and push back on SLAPPs, using the Twitter hashtags #SLAPPtaskforce and #ProtectTheProtest. The groups identify Chevron’s attacks on Donziger as the seed from which a whole new generation of attacks has grown.

Judicial harassment of human rights defenders by corporations and governments is also a high-profile issue for human rights organizations and UN agencies at the global level. The UN has a dedicated research office or “rapporteur” focused on the problem, and organizations including Amnesty InternationalGlobal Witness, and Frontline Defenders regularly issue reports expressing alarm at the growing incidence of retaliation. Global Witness recently indicated that it would be closely monitoring the Donziger case.

While the retaliation and outright “demonization” of Donziger has been driven by Chevron, acting as a private party hoping to “taint” the legitimacy of the $12 billion environmental liability that four layers of Ecuadorian courts have imposed on the company, the petition asserts that ultimately responsibility lies with the U.S. institutions which have tolerated, facilitated, and at times openly encouraged the attacks.

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41395-Attorney-Steven-Donziger-Files-Human-Rights-Petition-Claiming-U-S-Judiciary-Failed-to-Protect-Him-From-Vicious-Chevron-Retaliation-Campaign

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41372-Victory-for-Rainforest-Communities-Over-Chevron-as-Ecuador-Government-Vows-to-Fight-Illegal-Private-Arbitral-Award

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41417-Chevron-Attacks-on-Human-Rights-Attorney-Steven-Donziger-Fail-Basic-Due-Process-Says-London-based-Global-Witness

https://legalnewsline.com/stories/511581392-d-c-suspends-lawyer-steven-donziger-after-fraud-ruling-in-multibillion-dollar-fight-against-chevron

http://oaklandnewsnow.com/index.php/2018/10/04/steven-donziger-chevron-ecuador-lawyer-now-stripped-of-law-license-in-washington-d-c-on-top-of-new-york-state/

https://hotair.com/archives/2018/10/04/chevron-shakedown-lawyer-loses-license-practice-d-c/

http://stevendonziger.com/

https://www.vistazo.com/seccion/chucky-7-en-el-caso-chevron (ESPANOL)

USA/Ecuador: Chevron Wants Donziger Jailed In Fight Over $9.5B Fine

September 18, 2018

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Chevron Corp. told a New York federal court on Monday that attorney Steven Donziger, who helped procure a fraudulent $9.5 billion judgment in Ecuador over pollution in the Amazon, should be jailed if he continues refusing to transfer his interest in the proceeds of that judgment to Chevron.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan had reiterated last month that Donziger had to transfer to Chevron his interest in a Gibraltar-based company called Amazonia Recovery Ltd., which had been formed to collect and distribute any proceeds from…

https://www.law360.com/legalethics/articles/1083507/chevron-wants-donziger-jailed-in-fight-over-9-5b-fine

http://stevendonziger.com/

https://www.triplepundit.com/podium/global-conference-on-indigenous-solutions-for-environmental-challenges-set-for-november-in-canada/

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/09/chevron-arbitration-ruling-ecuador-completely-off-base.html