Last week, Steven Donziger and his team sought to downplay their defeat before the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York, focusing instead on Canada, where they hope to convince a court to recognize their fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron.
“We have a lot of confidence in Canada,” Donziger was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
“#Ecuador residents take case 2 Canada 2 seize #Chevron assets 4 massive contamination,” tweeted Karen Hinton, his spokeswoman.
Before exuding too much confidence, they may want to read what noted Canadian observers have had to say about their case:
Peter Foster, Financial Post
“What this case really amounts to is an attempt by a U.S. lawyer named Steve Donziger to score a big payday by persuading Chevron that it would be easier to settle than fight bogus charges.”
“[T]his smelly carcass of a suit has washed up in Canada.”
“[T]he last thing Canada needs is more Ecuador, or cases brought by the likes of Mr. Donziger.” – Financial Post, October 3, 2014
“Donziger is now beginning to look like the Black Knight in the Monty Python movie who has had all his limbs hacked off but claims that it’s ‘just a flesh wound.’”
“As far as Canada is concerned, the main reason to hope that this case gets tossed out is that otherwise every corrupt regime and corporate shake down artist in the world will look to clog up the Canadian system with their smelliest cases.” – Financial Post, August 15, 2016
“But the notion that every corporate shakedown on earth might wash up in Canada, inspired by the success of Donziger and his Ecuadorian cronies (including the country’s president Rafael Correa) in getting their case heard, could bring Canada’s legal system to a halt, not to mention into disrepute.” – Financial Post, September 8, 2016
Candice Malcolm, Toronto Sun
“This charade has now arrived on Canada’s doorsteps, after our top court foolishly agreed to hear this case in Canada.”
“The lawsuit – which has been thrown out in several other jurisdictions – is now coming to Canada. Perhaps that helps answer the question of why Ecuador’s government rolled out the red carpet for the Canadian union leaders.”
Canadian union leaders and politicians should “look into Ecuador’s unsavoury record…before jumping on the bandwagon and championing this shady case.”
“This is not exactly the type of regime that progressive Canadian unions should be rubbing elbows with.” – Toronto Sun, February 5, 2016
Lord Conrad Black, National Post
“[T]he Wall Street Journal may have been correct in calling it the ‘Legal fraud of the century’”
“It is inconceivable that an Ontario court would give greater weight to the confessed corruption of Ecuador over an American decision which…has in this case adduced a great deal of hard evidence almost completely destructive of the original complaint.”
“[T]he acceptance by the Canadian courts of this dubious action where Canada has no possible jurisdiction illustrates above all the self-perpetuating avarice of the international legal cartel. It is not otherwise clear, apart from the call of lucre and imitation, why Donziger is being further enriched and Chevron slightly inconvenienced by extending this vulgar and venomous Hollywood farce into this country.”
“[A]ny honest Canadian lawyers and judges should tread warily in this foreign jungle, no matter what sugar plums of money and publicity are dancing in their heads.” – National Post, November 28, 2015
Joanna Baron, Director, Runnymeade Society
“The decision significantly aggravates the risk of companies holding assets in Ontario and renders them vulnerable from plaintiffs seeking to collect on claims obtained in foreign courts, even those obtained under by way of the “legal fraud of the century,” as The Wall Street Journal described it.”
“The recognition of foreign judgments is aimed at ensuring the principles of comity and securing the ends of judgment. It seems clear that the plaintiffs are instead contorting these principles to a subterfuge: After striking out repeatedly in the United States (not to mention Brazil and Gibraltar), they have come knocking at our courtroom doors armed with some of Bay Street’s sharpest lawyers. Let’s not let our courts be dragged into this quagmire.” – Globe and Mail, September 13, 2016