When plaintiffs lawyers attack, corporations usually settle to avoid the astronomical costs of litigation. One happy exception is Chevron, CVX -0.36% which chose to fight an environmental tort shakedown in Ecuador. The result has been a tragicomic parade of malfeasance and outright fraud, much of which is now being revealed by the plaintiffs’ own consultants and partners.
Many of the details will be on display starting Tuesday in a federal court in Manhattan, where Chevron is suing plaintiffs lawyer Steven Donziger for fraud under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Readers may recall that this story started in 1993, when Mr. Donziger and a legal pack sued Texaco (later merged with Chevron) in federal court for allegedly failing to clean up oil pits it had drilled in the 1970s.