Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Last Thursday, Patton Boggs entered an appearance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of the Ecuadorian plaintiffs accusing Chevron of wreaking billions of dollars of damage in the Lago Agrio region. It was a notable event in the 17-year-old litigation; as we’ve reported (exhaustively), Chevron has devoted enormous resources to discrediting the Ecuadorians’ lead U.S. plaintiffs counsel, Steven Donziger, so the sudden arrival of an Am Law 200 firm on the plaintiffs side must have been an unwelcome development for the oil company. Chevron wasted no time in responding to the Patton Boggs appearance with characteristic aggression. According to a Nov. 17 declaratory judgment complaint Patton Boggs filed in Washington, D.C., federal district court, Chevron lawyers sent the firm a Nov. 13 letter asserting that Patton Boggs has a conflict of interest because a lobbying firm it acquired this summer, the Breaux Lott Leadership Group, has represented Chevron. (The letter is not attached as an exhibit to the complaint and doesn’t appear in the docketed record.) “Chevron’s attempt to paralyze the Ecuadorian plaintiffs’ counsel with unmeritorious threats of disqualification is the latest move in Chevron’s ongoing campaign to ward off anyone who dares to provide aid to the Ecuadorian plaintiffs,” the complaint says. Patton Boggs seeks a declaratory judgment that Chevron has no basis to disqualify the firm because the oil company did not receive legal services from Breaux Lott, only lobbying work. James Tyrrell Jr. of Patton Boggs, who argued for the Ecuadorian plaintiffs on Monday, when the Second Circuit considered (and denied) a request to stay Chevron’s deposition of Donziger, told us Patton Boggs went to court, rather than responding to Chevron in a letter, because the case has been so bitterly fought. “Given the intensity with which the case has been litigated, it seemed [the disqualification issue] should be determined by a federal court in the district whose conflict of interest and ethics rules would apply,” he said. (Because Breaux Lott was based in Washington, D.C., he added, that’s the appropriate forum.) “Our hope is that Chevron will realize we’re right about this and the action will be withdrawn.” We called counsel Randy Mastro of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher but didn’t hear back. We were tickled to see Patton Boggs’s invocation of a story by our own Michael D. Goldhaber. Patton Boggs asserts that Chevron attempted to deliver the law firm “a warning communicated through the media” when spokesperson Kent Robertson told Goldhaber that “‘anyone jumping into bed with plaintiffs at this point needs to understand what they’re signing on to.’” We do take issue, however, with any suggestion that Goldhaber was Chevron’s tool. His fiercely fair and independent reporting on the Lago Agrio case prove he’s no one’s delivery man.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.