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Latin American Blog – US Courts Order Discovery for Use Overseas in Chevron-Ecuador Disputes

Date: Dec 9, 2010

This in-depth article discusses the use of a legal statute in the ongoing Chevron Ecuador case. The piece outlines its application in the United States, and how it permits courts to order the  discovery of evidence for a lawsuit such as this one in Ecuador. The article goes on to describe its application by Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York to compel the deposition and production of evidence by Steven Donziger, lead trial lawyer for the plaintiffs in the Chevron Ecuador case:

A high profile and complex dispute involving a group of Ecuadorian residents, Chevron Corporation and the Republic of Ecuador is forcing courts and the media to focus on an arcane provision of federal law that authorizes federal courts in the United States to order testimony or the production of documents for use in a foreign or international tribunal. This once-obscure statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1782(a), authorizes, but does not require, U.S. courts to compel U.S.-style discovery in aid of non-U.S. proceedings. Federal courts on opposite sides of the United States recently ordered parties on opposite sides of the Chevron-Ecuador disputes to provide discovery under section 1782(a).

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