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Wall Street Journal Law Blog – Key Chevron Witness Testifies In Racketeering Trial

Date: Oct 23, 2013

A former Ecuadorean judge testified Wednesday that he was paid $1,000 a month to ghostwrite rulings and “expedite” proceedings in an environmental lawsuit against Chevron Corp. in Ecuador that ultimately resulted in a $19 billion judgment against the oil giant.

Mr. Guerra presided over the Chevron case until 2008, when he was dismissed from his position as judge of the provincial court in Lago Agrio. Speaking through a translator, Mr. Guerra told U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in a court hearing Wednesday that soon after he began ghostwriting court orders for his successor, Judge Nicolas Zambrano.

Mr. Guerra said that in 2009 Judge Zambrano asked him to contact Chevron offering to sway the matter in their favor–an offer Chevron says it rejected–and then to make similar overtures to Pablo Fajardo, an Ecuadorean lawyer who worked with Mr. Donziger representing the plaintiffs in the case.