Tag Archives: Ecuador

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/

 

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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

Image result for steven donziger

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

USA/Ecuador: Donziger: Chevron’s SLAPP Attack On Ecuador Judgment A Symbol of New Corporate Harassment Lawsuits

September 5, 2018

Image result for steven donziger

On the eve of protest in three cities against SLAPP-style harassment lawsuits, the main target of what has become known as the “Mother of All SLAPP Attacks” discussed the new corporate playbook for using courts to silence advocacy.

Steven Donziger, a Harvard-educated lawyer, organized the team that won a landmark $12 billion environmental judgment against Chevron in Ecuador. After losing the case, Chevron attacked the plaintiffs in Ecuador’s Amazon and their lawyer, Donziger, with a SLAPP lawsuit that might be the most vicious and well-funded corporate retaliation campaign in U.S. history.  (See here for the evidence against Chevron.)

A SLAPP lawsuit is one filed by a corporation or governmental entity to harass, intimidate, and ultimately silence critics rather than for the merits of any underlying claim.  The party that initiates a SLAPP suit almost always has a huge resource advantage compared to the person targeted, which is the case here given that Donziger works out of his Manhattan apartment while Chevron is one of the largest companies in the world. Such lawsuits also violate the Free Speech clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Chevron targeted Donziger with six public relations firms, hundreds of lawyers and investigators, and a U.S. federal judge who allowed the oil giant to present paid-for witness testimony on a civil “racketeering” case that Donziger said “was an attempt to frame me with criminal wrongdoing.” Chevron has spent an estimated $2 billion to pay 60 law firms to attack the Ecuadorians and their lawyers.

Donziger – called a “hero” of the environmental movement by Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler — speaks below on the eve of international protests against intimidation SLAPP lawsuits staged by the “Protect the Protest” coalition including Greenpeace, RAN, Mother Jones, Wikimedia, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and human rights and environmental organizations. He was interviewed by Karen Hinton, the longtime U.S.-based spokesperson for the Ecuadorian communities and the former press secretary for New York City Major Bill DeBlasio.

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41333-Donziger-Chevron-s-SLAPP-Attack-On-Ecuador-Judgment-A-Symbol-of-New-Corporate-Harassment-Lawsuits

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41323-In-SLAPP-Attack-Chevron-Trying-to-Intimidate-Citizens-Who-Challenged-Company-Over-Massive-Pollution-In-Amazon

https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2018/08/27/third-party-litigation-funders-fight-hard-to-stay-in-the-shadows/?slreturn=20180807002757

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/07/reuters-america-update-1-international-tribunal-rules-in-favor-of-chevron-in-ecuador-case.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/tribunal-condemns-ecuadors-9-5-billion-ruling-against-chevron-1536337680

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41336-Ecuador-Indigenous-Leaders-Criticize-Secret-Trade-Arbitrators-For-Interference-With-12b-Chevron-Pollution-Judgment

https://seekingalpha.com/news/3388793-9_5b-ecuador-judgment-chevron-fraudulent-tribunal-says

https://www.nasdaq.com/g00/article/chevron-cvx-emerges-victorious-in-ecuador-pollution-case-cm1020088?i10c.encReferrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8%3D&i10c.ua=1&i10c.dv=14

http://stevendonziger.com/

USA/Ecuador: Chevron Seeks Partial “Gag Order” to Silence Prominent U.S. Attorney Donziger Over Ecuador Pollution Judgment

August 22, 2018

Chevron has stepped up its attacks on prominent corporate accountability attorney Steven Donziger by seeking a partial gag order designed to silence criticism of the company’s retaliation campaign after it was found to have dumped billions of gallons of toxic oil waste into Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest.

While Chevron has used at least 60 law firms to attack Donziger, this is the first time company lawyers at the law firm Gibson Dunn – who have been accused by courts of “legal thuggery” and falsifying evidence — have sought any sort of gag order in apparent violation of the First Amendment. Donziger said he believes the gag order is “patently illegal” and reflects increasing desperation by the Gibson Dunn firm and Chevron CEO Michael Wirth after several institutional shareholders strongly rebuked company management at the annual shareholder’s meeting in May and courts in Canada continue to proceed with a lawsuit to seize company assets.

Chevron’s toxic dumping in Ecuador in the 1970s and 1980s, which decimated the cultures of five Indigenous groups and has led to an outbreak of childhood leukemia and other cancers, has yet to be cleaned up, according to court findings that ordered the company to pay $9.5 billion to the affected communities so they could remediate their ancestral lands. Chevron has threatened the Indigenous groups and Donziger with a “lifetime of litigation” if they continue with the case. (Here is a summary of the evidence against Chevron.)

https://www.triplepundit.com/podium/chevron-seeks-partial-gag-order-silence-prominent-u-s-attorney-donziger-ecuador-pollution-judgment/

http://stevendonziger.com/