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US Judge sanctions Gibson Dunn law firm for harassing witness in case against Chevron over environmental pollution in Ecuador

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7 December 2011

Chevron Sanctioned for Abusive Discovery Tactic

Author: Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News Service

Chevron must pay an Oregon-based nonprofit more than $32,000 for harassment during discovery related to an $18.2 billion judgment against the oil company for environmental damage in Ecuador, a federal judge ruled.

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7 December 2011

Federal Judge Sanctions Chevron Lawyers at Gibson Dunn for Harassing Witness in Ecuador Case

Author: Amazon Defense Coalition

Chevron's lead law firm in the $18 billion Ecuador environmental lawsuit...has been scolded and sanctioned by a federal judge for harassing a witness in a discovery action in Oregon. Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Coffin...ordered Chevron to pay $32,945.20 in costs to ELAW, a non-profit network of environmental lawyers from 60 countries that in 2009 filed an amicus brief before the Ecuador court hearing charges that the oil giant dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste into the Amazon. Coffin found that the deposition of ELAW's executive director, conducted by Kristin Hendricks of the Gibson Dunn & Crutcher law firm, was in part "meant to harass"..."Judge Coffin should be lauded for calling out Chevron's continued abuse of the discovery process to distract attention from its environmental crimes in Ecuador," said Karen Hinton, the U.S. spokesperson for the Ecuadorians...Once it was hit by sanctions, Chevron's lawyers at Gibson Dunn quickly moved...to dismiss its discovery action against ELAW.

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