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Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
Topic - Steven R. Donziger
It's a precedent-setting court case that is playing out like a soap opera. A celebrity lawyer, triumphant after winning the biggest environmental judgment in history, is in danger of causing his own downfall as he is caught on video appearing to admit to misconduct and fraud — just the latest twist in a high-stakes, decadeslong court battle over oil pollution in the Amazon rain forest.
Ecuador's case against California's Chevron Corp. has boomeranged against the plaintiffs' lawyers. Today in Manhattan, federal District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan is considering a RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) complaint Chevron filed Feb. 1 against attorneys and consultants targeting the oil giant.
Courts continue to expose the skulduggery of an Ecuadorean lawsuit against American oil giant Chevron Corp. On Tuesday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals smacked down the plaintiffs and backed District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan's order allowing Chevron to continue discovery efforts to prove the lawsuit is fraudulent. Judge Kaplan's Nov. 4 decision in the case uses particularly scathing terms to describe the conduct of the plaintiffs' American lawyer, Steven R. Donziger.
"This is Ecuador. You can say whatever you want and at the end of the day you're going to get what you want," he said at one point as the cameras rolled. "Sorry, but it's true. Because at the end of the day, this is all for the court just a bunch of smoke and mirrors."
"The facts that we need don't always exist," he said before the cameras. "You have to get the right facts. If they don't exist in an obvious way, you have to go make them. Otherwise, you're going to lose."