First the background: After the Lago Agrio plaintiffs won an $18 billion judgment against Chevron in an Ecuadorian court last year, Chevron and its lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher mounted an aggressive effort in U.S. courts to block enforcement of the judgment. They found a receptive audience in Judge Kaplan, who in March issued an injunction barring any attempts by the plaintiffs to collect. Judge Kaplan stated in his 131-page ruling that Chevron’s had raised serious questions as to whether the judgment was procured by fraud in a corrupt Ecuadoran judicial system. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has refused to stay the injunction and is slated to hear an appeal of Judge Kaplan’s ruling.
Meanwhile, in pursuit of evidence of the plaintiffs lawyers’ alleged fraud, Gibson Dunn asked Philadelphia federal district court judge Jan DuBois to order Kohn to turn over materials relating to his legal work and financial support for the Lago Agrio plaintiffs. Chevron had argued that the plaintiffs had waived their attorney client privilege by letting filmmakers for the documentary Crude observe attorney meetings with clients. Judge DuBois agreed.
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