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11.5.10 Opinion on Donziger 1782 MTQ

11.5.10 Opinion on Donziger 1782 MTQ

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - xIn re Application of CHEVRON CORPORATION, et al.,10 MC 00002 (LAK)This Document Applies to ALL CASES- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x
OPINION
Appearances:Randy M. MastroScott A. EdelmanKristen HendricksAndrew E. NeumanWilliam E. ThomsonG
IBSON
D
UNN
&
 
C
RUTCHER 
LLP
 Attorneys for Chevron Corporation
Paul E. DansJorge A. MestreAndrés Rivero
IVERO
M
ESTRE
&
 
C
ASTRO
 Attorneys for Rodrigo Pérez Pallares
Alan VinegradJason P. CrissJohn HanC
OVINGTON
&
 
B
URLING
LLP
 Attorneys for Ricardo Reis Veiga
Bruce S. KaplanRobert D. KaplanEllen LondonF
RIEDMAN
APLAN
S
EILER 
&
 
A
DELMAN
LLP
 Attorneys for Movant Steven R. Donziger 
Ilann M. MaazelJonathan S. AbadyAdam Pulver O. Andrew F. WilsonE
MERY
C
ELLI
B
RINCKERHOFF
&
 
A
BADY
LLP
 Attorneys for Lago Agrio Plaintiffs
Case 1:10-mc-00002-LAK Document 97 Filed 11/05/10 Page 1 of 54
 
Table of ContentsFacts.........................................................................3I.The Present Posture of the Ecuadorian Proceedings and the Urgency of thisMatter............................................................3II.
Crude
, Donziger’s Central Role in the Events at Issue, and these Subpoenas....5III.The U.S. Litigation Against Texaco and Chevron..........................9A. Texacos Operations in Ecuador.................................9B. The Aguinda Action..........................................10IV.The Settlement and Release..........................................11V. The Ecuadorian Litigation and Criminal Prosecutions.....................12A. The Lago Agrio Litigation, the Global Assessment and Other Evidence of Misconduct.................................................12B. The Initial Criminal Investigation...............................19C. Donziger Solicits the Making of 
Crude
...........................20D. President Correa Takes Office..................................20VI.The UNCITRAL Arbitration.........................................25VII. The Nature of Donzigers Activities...................................26A.The March 30, 2006 Intimidation of the Judge.....................28B.The Plan to Pressure the Court With an Army....................29C.Killing the Judge?...........................................31Discussion...................................................................32I.Judicial Code Section 1782..........................................32A.Statutory Requirements.......................................33B.Discretionary Factors.........................................34II.Deposition of Adverse Counsel.......................................36A. The Need to Depose Donziger..................................37B. Donzigers Role.............................................38C. Extent of Discovery Already Conducted..........................40D.Risk of Encountering Privilege and Work-Product Issues.............401.Basic Principles.......................................412.The Normal Means of Claiming Privilege...................443.Application to Donziger.................................46III. The Proposed Modification of the Subpoenas............................50Conclusion...................................................................52
Case 1:10-mc-00002-LAK Document 97 Filed 11/05/10 Page 2 of 54
 
L
EWIS
A.
 
APLAN
,
 District Judge
.
Chevron is the target of litigation brought in Ecuador by the so-called Lago Agrio plaintiffs in which the latter seek to recover $113 billion for alleged environmental pollution by
12
Texaco, Inc. (“Texaco”), from Texaco’s current owner, Chevron Corporation (“Chevron”).
3
Rodrigo Pérez Pallares and Ricardo Reis Veiga (the “Individual Petitioners”) are facing criminalcharges there as a result of having signed a settlement of such claims on behalf of Texaco someyears ago. The criminal charges at least in part are a result of an alliance between the Lago Agrio plaintiffs and the Ecuadorian government, which has both financial and political interests in thesuccess of the lawsuit. Chevron and the Individual Petitioners are seeking to defend themselves byobtaining discovery in the United States under Section 1782 of the Judicial Code, which they
4
 believe will demonstrate that both the civil litigation and the criminal prosecution in Ecuador have been tainted by fraud and other misconduct by the Lago Agrio plaintiffs and improper collusionamong them and the government of Ecuador (“GOE”).At the heart of this matter is Steven R. Donziger, a member of the New York Bar but,much more importantly, the field general of the Lago Agrio plaintiffs’ efforts in Ecuador – effortsthat include lobbying, media and public relations, fund raising, and other activities. Chevron and
1
The Lago Agrio plaintiffs are forty-eight individuals.
2
In September 2010, the Lago Agrio plaintiffs raised their damages assessment, in asubmission to the Lago Agrio court, to $113 billion at the high end of the range, which issignificantly greater than the $27 billion figure in the report published by the supposedlyindependent court-appointed expert.
3
Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001, after Texaco discontinued operations in Ecuador andsettled environmental claims with its government.
4
28 U.S.C. § 1782.
Case 1:10-mc-00002-LAK Document 97 Filed 11/05/10 Page 3 of 54

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