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September 30, 2014

Review: Barrett Book Details the ‘Dark Side’ of Ecuador Litigation Vs. Chevron

Writing on Fox News Latino, Ezequiel Vázquez-Ger offers a new analysis of BusinessWeek journalist Paul Barrett’s new book about the Chevron-Ecuador legal battle, “Law of the Jungle.”

Vázquez-Ger focuses in on embattled plaintiffs’ attorney Steven Donziger’s “inoperable business model to pursue the trial” against Chevron on behalf of Ecuador.

“Throughout 20 years of legal actions before different courts,” writes Vázquez-Ger, “Donziger sold rights over the trial and entered into shade agreements with different investors and law firms, without regard for how much money would be left for the remediation after covering debts with all investors.”

For example, he writes, a forensic analysis by Chevron found that “if for example the parties reached an agreement for $100 million, only 1.5 percent would be left to repair the Lago Agrio people. The remaining 98.5 percent would be divided among investors, legal fees (including Donziger’s fees) and administrative expenses.”

“I feel like I have gone over to the dark side,” wrote Donziger in his personal notes, which are part of the pending legal process.

“Barrett’s book narrates this turning to the dark side,” writes Vázquez-Ger, “In a story that contains all possible ingredients: hypocrisy, corruption, extortion; a multinational with unlimited resources to continue its battle; an indigenous community that, after twenty years, continues claiming for what it believes is just, and behind all this, a lawyer drowning in his own vanity who lost the opportunity of doing good.”

Read the full review here.

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