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Tuesday, Sep 10
Chevron may drop damage claims against lawyer, hopes to avoid a jury
- Chevron (CVX) is weighing a surprising and savvy legal maneuver in its RICO suit against environmental lawyer Steve Donziger, the man behind the $19B judgment issued by an Ecuadorian court in 2011: It may drop damage claims against him worth potentially $100M.
- If CVX follows through, it would effectively convert the case into a bench trial before a judge rather than a jury; Donziger would have no opportunity to play to jurors' emotions and prejudices.
- For CVX, the case is about injunctive relief: If it can win the liability portion of its case, it would want to bar Donziger and his colleagues from trying to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment anywhere in the U.S.
- CVX also likely would attempt to bar his and others' attempts to enforce the judgment abroad, though such a move would raise thornier, more controversial legal issues.