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Reuters – Ecuador disbars judge who heard Chevron case

Date: Oct 28, 2010

Chevron Ecuador Judge Juan Nunez, who stepped down from the trial amid accusations of misconduct and involvement in a bribery scheme, has been disbarred for breaking legal regulations:

Ecuador’s judicial authorities have disbarred a judge who recused himself from an oil pollution lawsuit against Chevron Corp  after he was accused of misconduct and involvement in a bribery scheme.

Juan Nunez denied any wrongdoing but stepped down from he 18-year-old case in September 2009 after he was recorded discussing it with men who secretly videotaped him using cameras hidden in a watch and a pen.

The lawsuit has triggered related legal actions in several U.S. courts and an international arbitration, and is being closely watched by the oil industry for precedents that could lead to other large claims against companies.

The Judicial Council said it had disbarred Nunez in a resolution dated Wednesday and seen by Reuters on Thursday. It said he had broken legal regulations by expressing his opinion on the case before its conclusion.

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