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September 22, 2014

Book Offers a “New Reading” on the Chevron-Ecuador Legal Battle

The Wall Street Journal’s Jennifer Smith today offers a brief analysis of BusinessWeek writer Paul Barrett’s new book on the Chevron-Ecuadorian legal battle, entitled, “Law of the Jungle.”

“Mr. Barrett,” writes Smith, “Traveled to Ecuador for his reporting, and to Chevron’s corporate headquarters. He also covered the racketeering trial last year.”

“From the original 1993 lawsuit to the U.S. court ruling this spring that found a record $9.5 billion verdict against Chevron in Ecuador was fraudulently obtained, the dispute has spanned continents, consumed millions of dollars and spawned lengthy articles attempting to unpack who did what to whom.”

Smith also notes Chevron’s victory in the racketeering case brought against New York plaintiffs’ lawyer Steven Donzinger for his role in the litigation.

“Ultimately,” writes Smith, Barrett concluded that “Mr. Donziger’s zeal to secure justice for his clients was corroded by hubris and his desire to win by any means necessary.”

“Donziger blackmailed a vulnerable Ecuadorian judge,” writes Barrett. “He spoon-fed conclusions to a supposedly disinterested court expert. When the terms of the final judgment were put up for sale, Donziger’s team supposedly made an offer.”

Read the full article here.

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