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One of the Most Egregious Legal Frauds in History Finally Comes to a Close

Institute for Legal Reform, June 20, 2017

The saga of Chevron v. Donziger, “one of the most egregious legal frauds in history” according to the WSJ, finally concluded this week with the U.S. Supreme Court denying plaintiffs’ attorney Donziger’s certiorari petition.

In 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that a $9.5 billion judgment obtained by American lawyer Steven Donziger against Chevron in Ecuador was the product of fraud and racketeering and, thus, unenforceable in the U.S.

The Second Circuit noted in its ruling that, “[t]he record in the present case reveals a parade of corrupt actions by the LAPs’ legal team, including coercion, fraud, and bribery.”

When Donziger appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit last year, the court unanimously affirmed the lower court’s ruling finding, among other things, that Donziger and his team had secretly written the judgment and offered an Ecuadorian judge $500,000 to sign it.

Unable to take no for an answer, Donziger took his claim to Canada, where an Ontario court rejected his bid to enforce the judgment in Ecuador against Chevron Canada Ltd, ruling the subsidiary is not liable for parent Chevron Corp.

In a final attempt to circumvent justice, Donziger filed a certiorari petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s decision.

Today, the Supreme Court denied Donziger’s petition and ensured that this scheming plaintiffs’ attorney will finally face the much deserved sanctions that were put in place by the U.S. District Court in 2014. Donziger will now have to turn over to Chevron any proceeds from the judgment.

It is due time that justice be served in this everlasting saga.