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.

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Comments (3)
  • Chirag Amin
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    What an extremely intelligent legal move, as juries are so unpredictable and typically tend to vilify big companies. I personally believe the attorneys hired by Chevron, Altria/Philip Morris, and Samsung may be some of the sharpest attorneys out there. They were smart not to hire any attorneys that represent BP :)
    11 Sep 2013, 01:20 AM Reply Like
  • slam stocks
    , contributor
    Comments (1450) | Send Message
     
    The lawyer violated multiple illegal acts including bribing the judge, faking evidence etc etc but nonetheless, CVX bought Texico and inherited this corrupt case only wants closure. Winning a settlement against the lawyer is highly likely, but collecting is not guaranteed. If this lawyer wants to avoid being ruined financially and disbarred, a settlement would be smart to drop out. Smart move and a winning offer for both parties.
    12 Sep 2013, 02:04 PM Reply Like
  • Chirag Amin
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    I hear that the attorney Steven Donzinger is already financially ruined, is unable to afford his mounting legal bills, and has been forced to represent himself against an army of Chevron attorneys that have been hammering him with legal interrogatories and legal motions and filings. Chevron is winning and looks to prevail by keeping up this war of attrition. Chevron won't settle as this would be too costly for them economically unless they get the amount down to $1 billion.....maybe $2 billion at most.....hopefully paid for over several years so as not to materially affect their earnings....
    12 Sep 2013, 09:36 PM Reply Like
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