Steven Donziger and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year
2017 turned out to be a devastating year for the lawyers and activist groups behind the legal fraud of the century.
Jurisdictions around the world continued to reject attempts to legitimize and recognize the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron.
In November, Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice unanimously rejected an attempt to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron Corporation, citing a lack of jurisdiction.
The decision follows a previous recommendation from Brazil’s Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office that the judgment not be recognized in Brazil because it is illegitimate and unenforceable. The deputy prosecutor general stated that the judgment “was issued in an irregular manner, especially under deplorable acts of corruption that represent an offense against the international public order and even to good morals.”
In October, an Argentine court dismissed an attempt to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron Corporation in that country. In a 22-page decision, the National Civil Court No. 61 in Buenos Aires found that the Ecuadorian plaintiffs failed to prove that the case had any connection to Argentina that would justify recognition of the 2011 Ecuadorian judgment by the country’s courts. Earlier in the year, the Argentina public prosecutor had recommended against enforcement of Ecuadorian judgment as it violated Argentine public policy due to fraud and corruption.
In June, the United States Supreme Court denied a certiorari petition seeking review of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirming extensive district court findings that the Ecuadorian judgment is the product of fraud and racketeering activity, and unenforceable in the United States.
In January, an Ontario court rejected an attempt to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron’s subsidiary, Chevron Canada Limited. The court found that Chevron Canada is a separate entity from Chevron Corporation, not a party to the Ecuadorian lawsuit and not a debtor to the judgment – rejecting a key part of the plaintiffs’ legal justification for filing the case in the country.
As another year passes, the rule of law continues to prevail and the fraudulent trial lawyers continue to be thwarted in their attempt to shake down Chevron.