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New York Law Journal – Chevron Argues It Is a Victim of Attorney’s ‘Shakedown’

Date: Oct 16, 2013

Chevron attorney Randy Mastro assailed plaintiffs’ lawyer Steven Donziger today, accusing him of running a massive scheme to extort a $19 billion environmental judgment against the oil company in Ecuador.

Launching his case in opening arguments before Southern District Judge Lewis Kaplan, Mastro said Donziger bribed a judge and had coconspirators ghost-write judicial opinions in the litigation in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, as a part of a plot to “coerce a big pay day out of the company to make the pain go away.”

“It’s been a long hard road to get here, but judgment day is at hand,” said Mastro, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He urged Kaplan to hold Donziger responsible as the man who “masterminded and orchestrated” the scheme and along the way committed “multiple acts of wire and mail fraud, extortion, bribery, witness tampering and money laundering.”

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