Friday, January 20, 2012

Chevron's 500 Lawyers At 39 Law Firms Defeated For Third Time

Five Impoverished Indigenous Groups One Step Closer To Justice

Reposted from The Chevron Pit

How many lawyers does it take to lose three court decisions in a row?

According to a Chevron declaration: Almost 500 lawyers and paralegals at 39 firms.

Chevron's public face for its unprecedented legal attack against the impoverished Ecuadorians has been Gibson Dunn's Randy Mastro, a former political hack to tough guy Rudy Guiliani, a former NYC Mayor and one-time presidential candidate.

See here and here for more information.

Early on in the fight, Mastro got lucky when another fellow New Yorker, federal judge Lewis Kaplan ruled in Chevron's favor in its effort to block the $18 billion judgment out of Ecuador.

(The $18 billion is to cleanup the company's massive contamination of the rainforest, provide health care and deliver clean drinking water to the area.)

Kaplan and Mastro competed in court to see who could out-disparage and out-ridicule the indigenous groups, and Judge Kaplan made disturbing comments from the bench about the Ecuadorians.

Mastro's luck ran out, though, when he appeared before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in September. The judges literally laughed at Mastro's argument that a U.S. court could sit in judgment of Ecuador's court system. One business day later, the court threw out Chevron's case.

In January, after Ecuador's appellate court upheld the $18 billion judgment, Chevron went back to its favorite judge, but even Kaplan wouldn't touch the oil giant's desperate plea to stop the Ecuadorians from enforcing the judgment.

Seeking relief from what Chevron described as "imminent harm," Mastro tried again with the 2nd Circuit but yesterday's ruling – denying the company's motion to block the judgment – ended Chevron's 18-month odyssey in U.S. courts to derail the Ecuadorian trial – a trial it asked for and fought for ten years ago.

For more insights into Mastro's "legal thuggery," see this Huffington Post blog.

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