US Supreme Court asked to consider Chevron's racketeering lawsuit against lawyer acting on behalf of Ecuadorian community over oil pollution

Campaña “La mano sucia de Chevron”, Photo Credit Cancillería Ecuador  licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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Article
16 May 2017

Supreme Court May Weigh Big Weapon for U.S. Companies Sued Abroad

Author: Paul Barrett, BloombergBusinessweek (USA)

Can U.S. companies use the federal racketeering law to fend off costly foreign court judgments?...[T]he Supreme Court will decide whether to hear an appeal...The federal appeals court in New York ruled last August that Chevron, and indeed, any American corporation facing an expensive judgment abroad, may come home and use the civil provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) as a weapon to go after the lawyers on the other side. The losers in that clash—impoverished Ecuadorian villagers and their New York-based attorney, Steven Donziger—are asking the justices to forbid this use of RICO as unwise and unfair. Chevron, naturally, wants the high court to stay out of it. The justices are expected to announce their intentions in the coming weeks...[T]he justices ordinarily like to resolve conflicts among lower federal courts...

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Article
1 May 2017

Brief for Amici Curiae Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network in Support of Petitioners

Author: Amazon Watch & Rainforest Action Network

[Full text of the amicus brief providing arguments in support of the claim that Chevron allegedly "committed corrupt and illegal actions in Ecuador, and during the racketeering proceeding" against Steven Donziger]

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Article
1 May 2017

Brief for the Republic of Ecuador as Amicus Curiae in Support of the Petition for Certiorari

Author: Winston & Strawn LLP (Counsel for Amicus Curiae)

[Full text of the amicus brief providing arguments in support of the claim that the appeal decision fails to take into account principles of international comity and conflicts with previous decisions]

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Article
1 May 2017

Brief of Friends of The Earth and 14 Other Non-Profit Organizations as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioners

Author: Friends of the Earth & 14 NGOs

[Full text of the amicus brief providing arguments in support of the claim that the initial racketeering ruling threatens the First Amendment rights of US citizens speaking out against human rights abuses and corporate wrongdoing]

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Article
1 May 2017

Brief of International Law Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioners

Author: Donald K. Anton (Griffith Law School, Griffith University) & 18 International Law Professors

[Full text of the amicus brief providing arguments in support of the claim that the racketeering decision and appeal violate the norms of international comity and international law]

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Article
1 May 2017

Civil Society Groups Ask U.S. Supreme Court To Reject Chevron's Attempts to Suppress Free Speech and Undermine Historic Amazon Pollution Case

Author: Amazon Watch

...Seventeen separate environmental and human rights groups filed two amicus briefs today urging the [US Supreme Court] justices to overturn Chevron's retaliatory racketeering suit against Ecuadorian Amazonian communities and their lawyers. The briefs seek a reversal of an unprecedented lower court ruling...that allowed Chevron to use U.S. courts to personally sue the villagers, their lawyers, and also Ecuador's entire judicial system to try block a legitimate $9.5 billion environmental judgment issued in the South American nation after the oil giant insisted the environmental trial be held there...The first brief...affirms that the initial ruling...tramples the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens who dare to speak out against human rights abuses..The second brief...details extensive evidence that Chevron committed corrupt and illegal actions in Ecuador and during the [racketeering] proceeding...

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Article
7 April 2017

Donziger Asks High Court To Weigh In On Chevron Judgment [subscription required]

Author: Michael Phillis, Keith Goldberg & Sara Ziegler, Law360

Attorney Steven Donziger has asked the Supreme Court to hear his appeal of a finding that a $9.5 billion oil pollution judgment against Chevron in Ecuador was fraudulently produced and could not be enforced...In a petition for a writ of certiorari...Donziger argued that the Supreme Court should address whether disappointed litigants from other countries could launch a preemptive collateral attack on a foreign civil judgment...In addition, the...petition questions the...finding that plaintiffs can use injunctive-relief-only [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] suits to seek culpability. Donziger...lost [a lower court] appeal...seeking to overturn a district judge’s finding that the judgment against Chevron was the product of “egregious fraud.” Chevron...had sued Donziger for allegedly bribing the Ecuadorean court and ghostwriting the judgment it issued — allegations he strongly denies....[Chevron] said in a statement...“We do not think Donziger’s latest attempt to distract from his fraudulent behavior is worthy of Supreme Court review.”...

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