After 20 years and hundreds of millions of dollars in litigation costs, we have a winner in the Chevron Ecuador dispute. And of all the countless legal battlegrounds, it’s now clearer than ever that U.S. litigation was the main event.

Following up on a six-week trial this fall, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan ruled Tuesday that U.S. attorney Steven Donziger corruptly orchestrated the environmental litigation that resulted in a $9.5 billion Ecuadorean judgment against Chevron, violating racketeering laws. Kaplan also ruled that Donziger and his Ecuadorean clients committed fraud on the Ecuadorean court. Lest Donziger or his clients benefit from their misdeeds, Kaplan enjoined U.S. enforcement of the Ecuadorean judgment, and ordered that any money collected worldwide be placed in a constructive trust for Chevron.

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