A New York City Federal Judge Allows Chevron to Depose Opposing Counsel


A New York City federal court has allowed Chevron to depose the opposing plaintiffs’ attorney judge. The Court took this unusual step in the toxic tort case against Chevron involving oil contamination in Lago Agrio, Ecuador. Most court’s generally bar the litigants from deposing opposing counsel calling it harrassment.

Judge Kaplan found that there was evidence in video out takes from a documentary film about criminal prosecutions arising from the contaimination claims that made it appear as if Plaintiffs’ counsel, Donziger had worked with an expert in Ecuador to cause Chevron’s lawyers from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher to be indicted there on criminal charges.

Judge Kaplan ruled: “The outtakes contain substantial evidence that Donziger and others were involved in ex parte contacts with the court to obtain appointment of the expert; met secretly with the supposedly neutral and impartial expert prior to his appointment and outlined a detailed work plan for the plaintiffs’ own consultants; and wrote some or all of the expert’s final report that was submitted to the Lago Agrio court and the Prosecutor General’s Office, supposedly as the neutral and independent product of the expert.”

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