Tag Archives: Ecuador

USA: Chevron Moves to Collect $3.4 Million from Lawyer Steven Donziger in Florida

October 18, 2019

Chevron Corp. and suspended New York attorney Steven Donziger have been foes since the 1990s, when Donziger sued on behalf of indigenous and farmer communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest.

International oil giant Chevron Corp. has moved to register a $3.4 million attorney-fee judgment against suspended New York attorney Steven Donziger in Florida, where he’s originally from, marking the latest chapter of a decadeslong saga of hostility between the two litigants.

A federal judge in New York awarded the fees in July against Donziger and his former law firms, Donziger Associates and The Law Office of Steven R. Donziger, after holding Donziger in contempt of court for blocking Chevron’s attempts to collect a money judgment from him.

Chevron and Donziger have been foes since the 1990s, when Donziger sued on behalf of indigenous and farmer communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. The plaintiffs alleged they suffered high cancer rates and birth defects because of deliberate oil and waste-water dumping by Chevron’s predecessor Texaco Inc.

Chevron argued that a 1998 agreement it signed with Ecuador had absolved it of further liability. But in 2011, the Ecuador Supreme Court ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor, awarding $9.5 billion in compensation.

But Chevron responded with a racketeering suit against Donziger, seeking to block the judgment. And it was successful as U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in the Southern District of New York found in 2014 that the Ecuador judgment had been obtained through fraud, bribery and corruption from the plaintiffs’ legal team. An international tribunal in The Hague also sided with Chevron.

Donziger has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, claiming the allegations against him were based on fraudulent testimony from a disgraced former Ecuadorian judge whom he alleges was bribed by Chevron.

He has appealed the $3.4 million attorney-fee judgment, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has yet to rule.

Donziger was suspended over the ruling in New York and the District of Columbia in 2018 and could lose his license. At a September disbarment hearing in New York, Donziger claimed Kaplan refused to consider evidence disproving the claims against him. The hearing will continue at the end of October, after which a referee will make a recommendation to the court.

Chevron has retained Luis Suarez of Boies Schiller Flexner’s Miami office. He deferred comment to Chevron spokesperson Sean Comey, who said the company is seeking to hold Donziger accountable for violating the New York ruling, which prohibits him from profiting from the Ecuadorian judgment.

“A federal court in New York has awarded Chevron Corp. multimillion-dollar money judgments against Donziger. This judgment enforcement action in Florida, where Donziger has some assets, is part of the process to hold Donziger responsible for his wrongdoing,” Comey said. “Chevron will continue to work to hold the perpetrators of this fraud accountable for their actions.”

https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2019/10/18/chevron-moves-to-collect-3-4-million-from-lawyer-steven-donziger-in-florida/?slreturn=20190919000649

https://amazonwatch.org/news/2019/1001-chevrons-legal-thuggery-run-amok

https://www.siriusxm.com/clips/clip/a9914a41-78d6-4402-8150-b8f14a44945b/97b4e672-c9ca-44ca-8f46-8839ad3217ca

https://www.law360.com/newyork/articles/1211656/chevron-says-ecuadorian-atty-can-t-quash-subpoenas

https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/10/28/steven-donziger-and-the-plot-against-chevron/

View at Medium.com

https://www.donzigerlaw.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevron_Corporation

USA/Ecuador: Steven Donziger: Ordered to Surrender Passport And Submit To Virtual House Arrest

August 7, 2019

Image result for steven donziger

The saga of suspended attorney Steven Donziger, recounted at length in previous editions of this column, continues.  File #1:19-cr-00561-LAP-1 – Donziger, Steven is, to say the least, an interesting read.

On August 6 Mr. Donziger was arraigned on the criminal contempt charge leveled against him by Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York.  According to court filings, the Southern District’s U.S. Attorney’s office had declined to prosecute Donziger, as it had insufficient resources to handle the case given its other current obligations.  Judge Kaplan therefore referred allegations to the law firm of Seward & Kissel, for prosecution.

District Judge Loretta A. Preska, who presided over Mr. Donziger’s arraignment, announced that “[h]e is facing jail time.”  Over objections by Donziger and his “standby” lawyer (he had no formal representation despite owning assets that he admitted might likely disqualify him from obtaining federal legal aid), the judge has required Donziger to surrender his passport.  Mr. Donziger must also submit to GPS tracking and must only leave his apartment to attend to family obligations and to meet his attorney.  I have heard that the accused has also been ordered to find two guarantors and to post hundreds of thousands of dollars of bonds as security for his appearance.

Judge Preska indicated that the evidence of criminal contempt was “very strong” and that Donziger, who has traveled to Ecuador seven times over the past two years, is a flight risk.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkrauss/2019/08/07/steven-donziger-ordered-to-surrender-passport-submit-to-virtual-house-arrest-and-post-bond/#aa9787e14329

https://www.lexisnexis.com/LegalNewsRoom/mealeys/b/newsheadlines/posts/mealey-s-toxic-tort-environmental—judge-orders-criminal-probe-of-steven-donziger-for-contempt-in-chevron-dispute

https://www.law360.com/energy/articles/1185713/donziger-denies-ny-judge-s-criminal-contempt-allegations

Chevron Ecuador Fraud As Steven Donziger Under House Arrest

When Feds Demur, Judge Charges Ecuador Crusader Himself

https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2019/08/21/judge-appointing-an-attorney-to-pursue-steven-donziger-is-disconcerting/

USA/Ecuador: Donziger Facing Prosecution in Chevron Saga

August 1, 2019

Steven Donziger is going to have his day in court, again — this time as a criminal defendant.

Donziger, the lawyer, Obama buddy, and climate activist who tried to extort a few billion dollars from Chevron, is the target of an order from district judge Lewis Kaplan, who has on his own authority appointed three lawyers to prosecute Donziger on criminal contempt charges.

Donziger’s shakedown was, by my reckoning, the largest extortion attempt in human history, and the case involved everybody from activist rock stars such as Roger Waters to Democratic operatives such as Karen Hinton, sometime contributor to Politico and the Huffington Post 

From Judge Kaplan’s original ruling:

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/steven-donziger-facing-prosecution-in-chevron-saga/

https://www.juiciocrudo.com/articulo/donziger-facing-prosecution-in-chevron-saga/12372

Suspended Lawyer Ordered to Pay $3.4M in Attorney Fees to Chevron As Contempt Sanction

http://www.juiciocrudo.com/articulo/justicia-norteamericana-dicta-nueva-orden-contra-steven-donziger/12224 (ESPANOL)

USA/Ecuador: Suspended lawyer ordered to pay $3.4M in attorney fees to Chevron as contempt sanction

July 24, 2019

Chevron

A suspended lawyer who was found in contempt of court for stonewalling Chevron’s efforts to collect a money judgment against him has been ordered to pay $3.4 million in attorney fees to the oil company.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered New York lawyer Steven Donziger to pay the attorney fees for “intransigence” that blocked Chevron’s “considerable efforts” to get at the facts. Forbes covered Kaplan’s July 16 order.

Donziger told the ABA Journal that $3.4 million is the highest sanction in the history of New York courts. And it’s not his total liability—court fees, attorney fees and fines add up to about $10 million.

“I’m supposed to pay Chevron all of this money, and I work out of a two-bedroom apartment,” Donziger says. “It is a corporate and judicial scandal, and I am appealing it and I don’t believe it will stand.”

Donziger’s troubles began when Chevron filed a RICO suit against Donziger and his law firm in an attempt to block collection of a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian civil judgment against the company. Donziger had represented the Ecuadorian plaintiffs in their suit over alleged environmental damage by Chevron predecessor Texaco during oil exploration activities.

In a 2014 decision, Kaplan blocked enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron after finding that it was the product of bribery and fraud. A federal appeals court upheld the decision in 2016.

Kaplan’s 2014 decision also awarded Chevron an $800,000 judgment against Donziger on the RICO claim. Kaplan barred Donziger from monetizing or selling shares in the Ecuador judgment and required him to assign any rights in contingent fees to Chevron.

Chevron then sought to locate assets to satisfy the judgment. “Donziger largely has stonewalled Chevron’s efforts,” Kaplan wrote when he found Donziger in contempt in a May 23 decision that was also covered by Forbes.

Donziger also “engaged in persistent efforts to raise money by selling interests in the Ecuador judgment which, in an effort to avoid contempt liability, he characterizes as assisting his clients to sell their interests in it,” Kaplan said in the May 23 decision.

Donziger raised at least $2.3 million selling interests in the judgment, of which $1.5 million went directly or indirectly to Donziger or related bank accounts, Kaplan said. Donziger personally profited from at least $666,000 in the deposited funds, according to Kaplan, who entered judgment for Chevron for an additional $666,000.

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/suspended-lawyer-is-ordered-to-pay-3.4m-in-attorney-fees-to-chevron

http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/cases/show.php?db=special&id=379

https://www.juiciocrudo.com/articulo/exabogado-suspendido-steven-donziger-es-condenado-a-pagar-a-chevron-3-4-millones-de-dolares/12248 (ESPANOL)

USA/Ecuador: Lawyer beat oil giant in court, but now faces jail and millions in fines

July 17, 2019

Image result for steven donziger

From 1964 to 1990, Texaco (later absorbed by Chevron) dumped 16 billion gallons of toxic waste in Ecuador’s Amazon. The CIA played a key role in bringing to power the dictatorship that first allowed Texaco to work in Ecuador. Philip Agee, the great whistleblower of that era, described CIA tactics in Ecuador in his 1975 book Inside the Company: CIA Diary.

Chevron demands Ecuadorian jurisdiction, gets it

In 1993, US lawyer Steven Donziger filed a lawsuit against Texaco in New York on behalf of the Ecuadorian victims of the dumped toxic waste. These were thousands of very poor people who lived in the affected area. The oil giant spent nine years fighting to have the case moved back to Ecuador. In 2002, Chevron prevailed. US courts ruled that the case belonged in Ecuador. But the battle soon took an unexpected turn.

Under the government of Rafael Correa, who was first elected in 2006, Ecuador’s judiciary changed. It was no longer one that would easily defer to wishes of a huge US-based company. Chevron was found guilty in a provincial court. The case held up on appeals all the way to Ecuador’s Supreme Court in 2013. The victims were awarded $9bn in damages. Chevron’s revenues have ranged from $100bn to $200bn per year depending on oil prices.

Chevron loses, demands US jurisdiction, and gets it

Chevron ran back to US courts to attack Donziger. A New York judge, Lewis A Kaplan, brushed aside Chevron’s promise to abide by Ecuadorian jurisdiction. He ruled that the lower court victory in Ecuador was won by Donziger using corrupt means. What about the appeals in Ecuador’s higher courts? Kaplan simply declared that Ecuador’s judiciary could not handle a case like this fairly. Did Kaplan say the company had not contaminated the Amazon? No. He simply said it was irrelevant to Chevron’s allegations against Donziger. Why didn’t a jury rule on this case? Chevron manoeuvred around facing a jury by not seeking monetary damages from Donziger.

Lawyer beat oil giant in court, but now faces jail and millions in fines

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkrauss/2019/07/17/suspended-ex-attorney-steven-donziger-condemned-to-pay-chevron-3-4-million/#fbc89b332cd3

Chevron Ecuador Fraud Case: Steven Donziger Loses Again in Court

https://amazonwatch.org/news/2019/0612-statement-on-excessive-judicial-order-demanding-that-steven-donziger-surrender-his-passport

Donziger Chevron Ecuador Lawsuit Dismissed In Canadian Court

https://www.donzigerlaw.com/

https://www.urgente24.com/zona/negocios/desisten-de-un-juicio-contra-chevron (ESPANOL)

USA/Ecuador/Canada/The Netherlands: Dutch Supreme Court Rules for Chevron in Ecuador Dispute

April 16, 2019

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has ruled in favor of Chevron Corporation, rejecting the Republic of Ecuador’s attempts to annul decisions of an international arbitral tribunal in The Hague that ordered Ecuador to take all steps necessary to prevent enforcement of a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron anywhere in the world. The Ecuadorian judgment previously was found by the international arbitral tribunal and by U.S. courts to have been obtained through fraud, bribery and corruption.

The arbitral tribunal, administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, issued interim and partial awards in favor of Chevron in 2012 and 2013 in proceedings brought by Chevron to hold the Republic of Ecuador accountable for the fraudulent and corrupt litigation against the company in that country. The arbitral awards ordered the Republic of Ecuador “to take all measures necessary to suspend or cause to be suspended the enforcement and recognition within and without Ecuador” of the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron. The decision by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands upholds the rulings of two Dutch lower courts that rejected the Republic of Ecuador’s attempts to annul those awards.

“The highest court in the Netherlands confirmed that Ecuador is required under international law to prevent enforcement of the corrupt Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron anywhere in the world,” said R. Hewitt Pate, Chevron’s vice president and general counsel. “The Dutch Supreme Court joins the courts of the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Gibraltar in rejecting the Ecuadorian fraud against Chevron. Chevron urges Ecuador to honor its obligations under international law, comply with the lawful orders of The Hague tribunal and put an end to the fraud and extortion against Chevron.”

These failed efforts to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment were led by adjudicated racketeer and suspended lawyer Steven Donziger. In 2018, Donziger was suspended from practicing law in New York State and Washington, D.C. after having been found by U.S. federal courts to have engaged in a longstanding pattern of racketeering activity in procuring the Ecuadorian judgment, including multiple acts of fraud, bribery and judicial corruption.

Dutch Supreme Court Rules for Chevron in Ecuador Dispute

Chevron Ecuador: Chevron Wins In Ecuador Fraud Case In Dutch Supreme Court

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/business/julia-seymour/2019/04/18/chevron-wins-again-ecuador-told-end-extortion-against-oil

https://laopinion.com/latinowire/corte-suprema-de-holanda-falla-a-favor-de-chevron-en-disputa-con-ecuador/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.eleconomista.es/empresas-finanzas/noticias/9826255/04/19/El-Tribunal-Supremo-de-Holanda-falla-a-favor-de-Chevron-en-disputa-con-Ecuador.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.em.com.br/app/noticia/internacional/2019/04/16/interna_internacional,1046849/comunicado-do-business-wire-chevron-corporation.shtml (PORTUGUES)

USA/Canada/Ecuador: Fraudulent Ecuador Judgment is Unenforceable Against Chevron’s Canadian Subsidiary

April 4, 2019

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The Supreme Court of Canada has rejected a request to review a decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario that a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron Corporation cannot be enforced against Chevron Canada Limited, an indirect subsidiary. The Court of Appeal for Ontarios decision, which is now final, dismissed all claims against Chevron Canada Limited, holding that it is a separate entity from Chevron Corporation and that its shares and assets cannot be seized by those seeking to enforce the corrupt Ecuadorian judgment. The Ecuadorian judgment itself has already been found by U.S. courts and an international tribunal in The Hague to have been obtained through fraud, bribery and corruption.

“We are pleased that the highest court in Canada has put an end to the plaintiffs lawyers attempts to enforce their corrupt Ecuadorian judgment against Chevrons indirect subsidiary in Canada, said R. Hewitt Pate, vice president and general counsel, Chevron Corporation. Canadian courts have rejected the plaintiffs efforts to circumvent the determination by U.S. courts that the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron was procured through bribery, fraud and other racketeering activity. Any further efforts by the plaintiffs lawyers to continue this lawsuit in Canada would be an abuse of the countrys legal system and a waste of its judicial resources.

Because Chevron Corporation has never had any assets in Ecuador, the plaintiffs, led by adjudicated racketeer and suspended lawyer Steven Donziger, are attempting to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment in other jurisdictions. Donziger and his associates had sought to enforce the judgment against both Chevron Corporation, which has no assets in Canada, and Chevron Canada Limited, which was not a party to the Ecuadorian lawsuit. Today’s decision confirms once and for all that the fraudsters cannot pursue Chevron Canada Limited’s shares and assets.

In 2018, Donziger was suspended from practicing law in New York State and Washington, DC as a result of his unlawful conduct in procuring the Ecuadorian judgment.

https://www.globalbankingandfinance.com/fraudulent-ecuador-judgment-is-unenforceable-against-chevrons-canadian-subsidiary/

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41860-Fraudulent-Ecuadorian-Judgment-Is-Unenforceable-Against-Chevron-s-Canadian-Subsidiary

https://theintercept.com/2019/04/03/branded-content-fossil-fuel-companies/

https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-l-csc-a/en/item/17657/index.do

http://stevendonziger.com/

https://eldiariony.com/latinowire/fraudulenta-sentencia-ecuatoriana-es-inejecutable-contra-subsidiaria-canadiense-de-chevron/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.sciencesetavenir.fr/nature-environnement/pollution/chevron-marque-un-point-contre-les-equatoriens_132757?fbclid=IwAR0Hc_2vMTEn9QL6wquHOYYuH9bvMVQYbZjz6OzNq4F_4qrffak9RkQ8KA8 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.zonebourse.com/actualite-bourse/Le-jugement-frauduleux-rendu-en-Equateur-est-inapplicable-a-l-encontre-de-la-filiale-canadienne-de-C–28357808/ (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ansa.it/sito/notizie/economia/business_wire/news/2019-04-05_1051932895.html (ITALIANO)

https://www.boerse.de/nachrichten/Betruegerisches-Ecuador-Urteil-ist-nicht-vollstreckbar-gegen-die-kanadische-Tochtergesellschaft-von-Chevron/8032356 (DEUTSCH)