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US federal judge issues temporary restraining order to block enforcement of potential judgment against Chevron in Ecuadorian oil pollution lawsuit

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9 February 2011

Federal Judge Blocks Enforcement of Likely Judgment Against Chevron

Author: Mark Hamblett, New York Law Journal

A law firm strategy memo persuaded a federal judge yesterday to block enforcement of a potential multi-billion dollar judgment against Chevron for environmental damage caused by a predecessor oil company in Ecuador…Judge Lewis Kaplan issued a temporary restraining order that would prevent Ecuadorean plaintiffs and their law firm…from seeking to enforce in New York a massive award that a court in Ecuador is expected to issue against the oil company…The judge said he was convinced that the unusual restraining order, issued even before a judgment has been announced, was proper because of the "plaintiffs' announced strategy to cause as much disruption as possible." The dispute stems from a suit brought in Ecuador by Ecuadorean natives to hold Chevron responsible for environmental degradation and health problems from pollution allegedly left unremedied by its predecessor, Texaco, some 19 years ago.

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8 February 2011

Law firm fires back at Chevron in Ecuador case

Author: Dan Levine, Reuters

A prominent U.S. law firm accused Chevron Corp of mounting a "smear campaign" aimed at keeping it out of a high stakes Ecuadorean environmental pollution case. The accusation, contained in court documents filed…by Patton Boggs of Washington, D.C., comes a day before a hearing on a new civil racketeering lawsuit by Chevron against Ecuadorean plaintiffs…The Ecuadorean plaintiffs started their litigation in 1993 against Texaco -- bought by Chevron in 2001. They accuse it of dumping oil-drilling waste in unlined pits, contaminating the forest and causing illnesses and deaths among local people…In the court filings…, Patton Boggs asked a federal judge…to allow it to bring tortious interference claims against Chevron and its outside counsel, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher…Gibson Dunn partner Theodore Boutrous Jr. called the Patton Boggs filing "frivolous and incoherent"…

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