Victory! Chevron wins RICO case over Ecuador shakedown artists

posted at 9:21 am on March 5, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Long time readers will know that I’ve been covering the ongoing dispute between Chevron and Ecuador for a couple of years now. The effortt by a coalition of blatantly corrupt activist in Ecuador and their willing environmentalist cohorts in the United States was attempting to pick Chevron’s pockets to the tune of billions of dollars. But unlike many nuisance suits against energy companies, Chevron decided to fight back and took them to court after multiple instances of corruption in the Ecuador courts were brought to light.

This week, that long leg of the journey has ended, and Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan has ruled that the Ecuador judgement goes out with the trash.

A New York judge says Amazon rainforest residents who obtained a multibillion-dollar judgment against Chevron in Ecuador cannot try to enforce it through U.S. courts, because it was obtained through fraud.

Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan issued the nearly 500-page written ruling Tuesday. It follows a trial last year that pitted rainforest tribes against the San Ramon, Calif.-based oil company.

In February 2011, a judge in Ecuador issued an $18 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. in a lawsuit brought on behalf of 30,000 Amazon residents. The judgment was for environmental damage caused by Texaco during its operation of an oil consortium in the rainforest from 1972 to 1990.

A few select nuggets from the judge’s ruling.

“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 wrongful actions of Donziger and his Ecuadorian legal team would be offensive to the laws of any nation that aspires to the rule of law, including Ecuador – and they knew it”

“If ever there were a case warranting equitable relief with respect to a judgment procured by fraud, this is it.”

Exit question for you legal beagle types. Is there any way at this point for Chevron to turn this around drag Donziger and company, along with the Ecuador court actors, into a court someplace and drain every last cent out of them until they have to live under a bridge somewhere?

Naw…. probably not. This is America, after all.


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This isn’t over yet, unfortunately, any more than the actual VOTE in Tennessee ended the UAW’s attempt to enslave the workers at that Volkswagen plant.

The Holder Injustice Department will swing into action, mark my words.

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Good to know that there is still some justice in America.

CJ John Roberts notwithstanding.

Bitter Clinger on March 5, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Shakespeare was right.

oldroy on March 5, 2014 at 9:26 AM

This is why lawyers invoke a visceral hatred in people,

Thicklugdonkey on March 5, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Next it goes to SCOTUS where it will be declared a tax.

Akzed on March 5, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Shakespeare was right.

oldroy on March 5, 2014 at 9:26 AM

We could rebuild all the depleted coral reefs in the world by burying all the lawyers and their BMW’s in them.

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Not only does Chevron make great gas, but it put the gas to the downhill ride of the corrupt kangaroo court in Ecuador and the arrogant, greedy ‘lawyers’ who brought this crooked, frivolous pile of caca to this country. I hope are made so broke that their kids have to attend the public school system in DC.

vnvet on March 5, 2014 at 9:31 AM

KUDOS to Chevron!

workingclass artist on March 5, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Not only does Chevron make great gas, but it put the gas to the downhill ride of the corrupt kangaroo court in Ecuador and the arrogant, greedy ‘lawyers’ who brought this crooked, frivolous pile of caca to this country. I hope are made so broke that their kids have to attend the public school system in DC.

vnvet on March 5, 2014 at 9:31 AM

And they have to sell their BMW’s and drive 1976 Chevy Vegas.

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 9:32 AM

I remember reading your take on this story a while back, Jazz. Nice work!

Mord on March 5, 2014 at 9:34 AM

OT: No live thread for the Lois Lerner hearing? On now on C-SPAN.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 5, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Lawyers have never been the problem.

The problem is judges and legislators.

Throw a modern lawyer into a 1920′s court room and they would be a lot less dangerous.

That’s all you need to know. Take a layer from 1920 and throw him into a modern court room and he’d be about as dangerous as modern lawyer in a modern court room.

See… the lawyers haven’t really changed. They’ve always been the same. All the way back to roman times and possibly even earlier. The courts however have varied greatly.

Lawyers are players… think of them like sports players. They play the game. Do they argue for the rules to be changed on occasion? Of course. That is part of the game. However, it up to the referees… the judges… and the rule makers… the legislators to oversee the game and set the rules.

As they say in the rap community… Don’t hate the player… hate the game.

I don’t blame lawyers for exploiting bad rules or shotty oversight. That is actually part of their function. It is our fault and the fault of the justice system for providing places where the system can be exploited.

Karmashock on March 5, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Exit question for you legal beagle types. Is there any way at this point for Chevron to turn this around drag Donziger and company, along with the Ecuador court actors, into a court someplace and drain every last cent out of them until they have to live under a bridge somewhere?

Court has declared the original lawsuit a fraud so there should be at least attorney fees and Rule 11(b) sanctions.

rbj on March 5, 2014 at 9:42 AM

OT: No live thread for the Lois Lerner hearing? On now on C-SPAN.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 5, 2014 at 9:35 AM

You really needed a live thread for “On advice of counsel, I respectfully assert my Fifth Amendment rights.”?

Lerner won’t say anything and the rest because she’s as guilty as hell and is trying to avoid jail time. The rest of it is mere theater.

But it is important to remember that Lerner was more than just the head of the organization that was targeting groups for partisan reasons. She was also the one who fabricated the fake question during a teleconference to let drop the “fact” that they had found eight rogue agents in Ohio.

Happy Nomad on March 5, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Proud to be a shareholder today…

JohnGalt23 on March 5, 2014 at 9:44 AM

…name names!

KOOLAID2 on March 5, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Lerner won’t say anything and the rest because she’s as guilty as hell and is trying to avoid jail time. The rest of it is mere theater.

But it is important to remember that Lerner was more than just the head of the organization that was targeting groups for partisan reasons. She was also the one who fabricated the fake question during a teleconference to let drop the “fact” that they had found eight rogue agents in Ohio.

Happy Nomad on March 5, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Jail time is the least of her worries, because of who else would be implicated by her testimony.

She’s trying to avoid being found dead in Ft. Marcy Park of a “multiple gunshots to the head suicide”.

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 9:45 AM

I don’t blame lawyers for exploiting bad rules or shotty oversight. That is actually part of their function. It is our fault and the fault of the justice system for providing places where the system can be exploited.

Karmashock on March 5, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Who comprises the judiciary?

That’s right, LAWYERS.

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 9:45 AM

You really needed a live thread for “On advice of counsel, I respectfully assert my Fifth Amendment rights.”?

Lerner won’t say anything and the rest because she’s as guilty as hell and is trying to avoid jail time. The rest of it is mere theater.

But it is important to remember that Lerner was more than just the head of the organization that was targeting groups for partisan reasons. She was also the one who fabricated the fake question during a teleconference to let drop the “fact” that they had found eight rogue agents in Ohio.

Happy Nomad on March 5, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Happy Nomad, Issa actually asked her multiple substantive questions, and Cummings flipped out at the end of the hearing. And given the drama from earlier in the week, there was a chance she would not invoke the Fifth. Sadly, she did.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 5, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Exit question for you legal beagle types. Is there any way at this point for Chevron to turn this around drag Donziger and company, along with the Ecuador court actors, into a court someplace and drain every last cent out of them until they have to live under a bridge somewhere?

If Chevron doesn’t have assets sufficient for in rem jurisdiction and doesn’t have a presence sufficient for in personam jurisdiction, any judgment entered against Chevron would be merely of a declaratory nature. They can’t coerce satisfaction of the judgment if the court doesn’t have jurisdiction.

blammm on March 5, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Happy Nomad, Issa actually asked her multiple substantive questions, and Cummings flipped out at the end of the hearing. And given the drama from earlier in the week, there was a chance she would not invoke the Fifth. Sadly, she did.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 5, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Cummings’ meltdown almost made this farce worth it. So what is Issa’s next move? Unless Lerner is threatened with prison, she’s never gonna talk.

Doughboy on March 5, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Who comprises the judiciary?

That’s right, LAWYERS.

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 9:45 AM

It’s the fault of legislators for not passing laws with sufficient clarity. Lawyers only work within the confines of the laws written by legislators.

blammm on March 5, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Exit question for you legal beagle types. Is there any way at this point for Chevron to turn this around drag Donziger and company, along with the Ecuador court actors, into a court someplace and drain every last cent out of them until they have to live under a bridge somewhere?

No. That’s why assassins will always have work.

Padre on March 5, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Who comprises the judiciary?

That’s right, LAWYERS.

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 9:45 AM

It’s the fault of legislators for not passing laws with sufficient clarity. Lawyers only work within the confines of the laws written by legislators.

blammm on March 5, 2014 at 9:56 AM

And what percentage of federal legislators do you think are lawyers? Seriously, if you wanted to hold on to capriciously exercised power, would you want to write clear, enforceable laws? Or would you rather have things the way they are now?

gryphon202 on March 5, 2014 at 10:05 AM

It’s the fault of legislators for not passing laws with sufficient clarity. Lawyers only work within the confines of the laws written by legislators.

blammm on March 5, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Irrelevant. The Constitution was written with very exacting clarity. Any statutory law that conflicts with it is null and void. It’s a very simple test. Judges who twist and contort the Constitution for their agenda are corrupt, it has nothing to do with the ambiguity of the law itself.

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 10:05 AM

This is why lawyers invoke a visceral hatred in people

Well, that and the trail of green slime they leave behind them.
Don’t let one walk on your carpet: It’s h*ll to get the stains out.

orangemtl on March 5, 2014 at 10:07 AM

The Constitution was written with very exacting clarity. Any statutory law that conflicts with it is null and void. It’s a very simple test. Judges who twist and contort the Constitution for their agenda are corrupt, it has nothing to do with the ambiguity of the law itself.

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Only thing I’d like to add to that is, it disgusts me that the American people, even so many of those who are pushing for an Article V convention, don’t have the stomach to do what really should be done with our illegitimate government and broken system.

gryphon202 on March 5, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Seriously, if you wanted to hold on to capriciously exercised power, would you want to write clear, enforceable laws? Or would you rather have things the way they are now?

gryphon202 on March 5, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Ironically, it was another Chevron case which held that “if the statute is silent or ambiguous with respect to the specific question, the issue for the court is whether the agency’s answer is based on a permissible construction of the statute.” If legislators don’t provide that clarity, then unelected bureaucrats trying to justify their make-work jobs get to come up with regulations that resolve those shortcomings. I’m sure that you don’t want that, do you?

blammm on March 5, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Ironically, it was another Chevron case which held that “if the statute is silent or ambiguous with respect to the specific question, the issue for the court is whether the agency’s answer is based on a permissible construction of the statute.” If legislators don’t provide that clarity, then unelected bureaucrats trying to justify their make-work jobs get to come up with regulations that resolve those shortcomings. I’m sure that you don’t want that, do you?

blammm on March 5, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Of course I don’t. But I am no longer willing to attribute these oversights to stupidity when ill intent is staring me right in the face.

gryphon202 on March 5, 2014 at 10:15 AM

But I am no longer willing to attribute these oversights to stupidity when ill intent is staring me right in the face.

gryphon202 on March 5, 2014 at 10:15 AM

And those bad apple attorneys are going to pay dearly for it via disbarment and RICO criminal and civil penalties. Justice brought about by attorneys I do note.

blammm on March 5, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Only thing I’d like to add to that is, it disgusts me that the American people, even so many of those who are pushing for an Article V convention, don’t have the stomach to do what really should be done with our illegitimate government and broken system.

gryphon202 on March 5, 2014 at 10:09 AM

In my view, we need an Article V convention to try and fix it, by adding amendments that close the loopholes to put Leviathan back into the lockbox. But you are right, if I interpret your point correctly, THIS SHOULD NOT BE NECESSARY, because if the Constitution were followed instead of WILLFULLY SUBVERTED by Congress, Presidents, and the Judiciary, no such convention would be necessary!

But I prefer that convention to the alternative: Revolution and the displaying of a lot of bureaucrats, congressmen and judges from lamposts…

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 10:21 AM

In my view, we need an Article V convention to try and fix it, by adding amendments that close the loopholes to put Leviathan back into the lockbox. But you are right, if I interpret your point correctly, THIS SHOULD NOT BE NECESSARY, because if the Constitution were followed instead of WILLFULLY SUBVERTED by Congress, Presidents, and the Judiciary, no such convention would be necessary!

But I prefer that convention to the alternative: Revolution and the displaying of a lot of bureaucrats, congressmen and judges from lamposts…

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 10:21 AM

My advocation of nullification is in no way, shape or form an advocacy of secession or violence. Illegitimate governments deserve no more than to be ignored, and state legislatures can pass laws to that effect. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they will by any stretch. A few amendments aren’t going to magically force FedGov to start following the constitution.

gryphon202 on March 5, 2014 at 10:32 AM

In my view, we need an Article V convention to try and fix it, by adding amendments that close the loopholes to put Leviathan back into the lockbox. But you are right, if I interpret your point correctly, THIS SHOULD NOT BE NECESSARY, because if the Constitution were followed instead of WILLFULLY SUBVERTED by Congress, Presidents, and the Judiciary, no such convention would be necessary!

But I prefer that convention to the alternative: Revolution and the displaying of a lot of bureaucrats, congressmen and judges from lamposts…

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 10:21 AM

My advocation of nullification is in no way, shape or form an advocacy of violence of any kind. Illegitimate governments deserve no more than to be ignored, and state legislatures can pass laws to that effect. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they will by any stretch. A few amendments aren’t going to magically force FedGov to start following the constitution.

gryphon202 on March 5, 2014 at 10:32 AM

I’m still waiting for Scott Pelley to apologize for his 60 minutes report.

aniptofar on March 5, 2014 at 10:32 AM

My advocation of nullification is in no way, shape or form an advocacy of violence of any kind. Illegitimate governments deserve no more than to be ignored, and state legislatures can pass laws to that effect. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they will by any stretch. A few amendments aren’t going to magically force FedGov to start following the constitution.

gryphon202 on March 5, 2014 at 10:32 AM

I also am an advocate of civil disobedience. I advocate the same thing you do. The first step, after all, in reducing the power of the Federal Leviathan is to CEASE TO ACCEPT THE PREMISE that it HAS such power to begin with!

Start saying NO. A LOT.

The government really has no means of dealing with widespread civil disobedience. Look at Connecticut and their dilemma with the mass civil disobedience of their new “scary rile” ban.

In a way, Obama is making it easier for us to kill this beast, because his public AND FREQUENT flagrant disregard for inconvenient laws is actually weakening public respect for HIS AND THE GOVERNMENT’S AUTHORITY!

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 10:43 AM

In a way, Obama is making it easier for us to kill this beast, because his public AND FREQUENT flagrant disregard for inconvenient laws is actually weakening public respect for HIS AND THE GOVERNMENT’S AUTHORITY!

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 10:43 AM

And yet still as a nation we continue to treat FedGov as though it’s a legitimate exercise of power. I’m telling you, the longer we wait to solve this problem in earnest, the more painful it will be when we finally do.

gryphon202 on March 5, 2014 at 10:45 AM

I’m still waiting for Scott Pelley to apologize for his 60 minutes report.

aniptofar on March 5, 2014 at 10:32 AM

I’m sure that will be their lead story on this week’s show …

bwahahahahahaha!

dissent555 on March 5, 2014 at 10:57 AM

I’m still waiting for Scott Pelley to apologize for his 60 minutes report.

aniptofar on March 5, 2014 at 10:32 AM

If 60 Minutes were to apologize for all the lies they’ve told, their wouldn’t be enough airtime to contain them all.

Christian Conservative on March 5, 2014 at 10:58 AM

AS long as the LSM is allowed to change the conversation away from meaningful advocacy of Constitutional restraint, the dumbed down American public will be sure to continue to ignore the ongoing malevolence from govt prosecutors at EVERY level. From the Pelletier case to the latest harassments of kids selling lemonade, the pervasive endemic that is bureaucracy is killing us softly and without mercy, hope or reason. Laws will continue to be just vague enough to require revisitations following law suits and public outcry. I’m afraid to admit that revolution and lampposts may be our only solution.

GKChesterton99 on March 5, 2014 at 11:03 AM

For all the criticism of lawyers, you all should note that it was Chevron’s team of expert litigation attorneys who devised and carried out the legal strategy that has now humiliated Donziger and company.

The only way a crooked lawyer loses is when an honest lawyer defeats him.

Tom Servo on March 5, 2014 at 11:39 AM

For all the criticism of lawyers, you all should note that it was Chevron’s team of expert litigation attorneys who devised and carried out the legal strategy that has now humiliated Donziger and company.

The only way a crooked lawyer loses is when an honest lawyer defeats him.

Tom Servo on March 5, 2014 at 11:39 AM

So you have a few honorable men in a dishonorable profession. Big whoop.

gryphon202 on March 5, 2014 at 11:49 AM

I believe that when the judge declared “If ever there were a case warranting equitable relief with respect to a judgment procured by fraud, this is it”, he was setting the predicate for a trial to recapture expenses by Chevron.

Another Drew on March 5, 2014 at 2:30 PM

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 10:21 AM

An Article-V action is the last non-violent recourse available to restore the Republic.

When that fails…..

Another Drew on March 5, 2014 at 2:34 PM

I am sure Chevron has had its legal eagles evaluating whether there is any benefit to attempting to recover even their legal fees for this case. It may be that if there is some avenue that can be pursued they may try it else they may just write it off as a successful legal action.

They will likely keep some legal eagles checking on the plaintiffs and their attorneys to see if anything could turn up over the next few years, at least.

Russ808 on March 5, 2014 at 8:58 PM

We could rebuild all the depleted coral reefs in the world by burying all the lawyers and their BMW’s in them.

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 9:29 AM

What do you have against those perfectly good BMWs?

ReggieA on March 6, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Victory! Chevron wins RICO case over Ecuador shakedown artists
==============================================================

Boinking “A”!!

canopfor on October 7, 2014 at 8:26 PM