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18 Jul 2013

David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

Chevron gets e-mail data in Ecuador fight

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In its efforts to prove that a $19 billion lawsuit against the company is a scam, Chevron Corp. has seized film clips, memos, computers — even a lawyer’s personal diary. Now America’s second largest oil company has access to another information source:…[a] federal judge recently cleared Chevron to subpoena [nine-years’ worth of] e-mail metadata for 30 accounts with Microsoft. The company believes all 30 accounts belong to people involved in a landmark lawsuit in which residents of Ecuador’s oil-producing region are trying to force Chevron to clean up contaminated soil and water. Chevron has filed a counter-suit in New York, arguing that the entire Ecuadoran case is an elaborate extortion scheme…Lawyers representing the e-mail account holders insist that some of the people only had a brief or tangential connection to the Ecuadoran lawsuit