Thursday, August 18, 2011

Borja Hansen Plot Thickens As Chevron Flack Robertson Releases Sealed Document To News Media

Chevron spokesman Kent Robertson

Read the latest about Chevron operatives Kent Robertson, Diego Borja and Wayne Hansen at these two excellent blogs by Amazon Watch and the Rainforest Action Network.

Diego Borja

Here are a couple of eye-opening excerpts:
"The contents of Hansen’s emails to his Chevron handler clearly show that he was engaged in some sort of underhanded activity on behalf of the company, was expecting a big payday, and, at the time of writing, fears he may have been left out in the cold."
In the weeks after he and an Ecuadorian Chevron contractor named Diego Borja executed their scheme, Hansen writes to his contact at Chevron:
"I have been waiting for your call, you said you would call me. ... It seems that the oil co has cut a deal with Diego and I have not heard a word from anyone but Diego. What am I to think?"

Wayne Hansen as a young convict

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reuters’ Column Reveals Judge Kaplan’s Bias Against Ecuadorians In His Upcoming “Show Trial” On $18 Billion Judgment Against Chevron

A recent Reuters’ column by journalist Alison Frankel reveals the stark bias of U.S. Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan against the Ecuadorians who recently won an $18 billion judgment against the oil giant for oil contamination in the Amazon rainforest.

Frankel’s column makes clear that even though Chevron’s charges against the Ecuadorians focus largely on one of their lawyers, Steven Donziger, Judge Kaplan has refused to allow Donziger and his attorneys to participate in an upcoming trial on the enforceability of the Ecuadorian judgment.

It’s also clear from the mountain of trial discovery that Chevron is demanding from Donziger, the other attorneys in the case (even interns!) and the Ecuadorians that the oil giant fully intends to drag Donziger center stage into the trial.

Frankel quotes from the legal brief, asking Judge Kaplan for fairness:
“If what actually happened in Ecuador matters at all to the court's decision, the court should let Donziger intervene, grant the Lago Agrio plaintiffs' motion (for more time) and let the parties conduct a real, not show, trial," states the brief, written by Donziger’s law firm, Keker & Van Nest.

Frankel includes this statement from the brief:
"The exclusion of Donziger from full intervention in this 'do-over' trial has reached the point of absurdity. The trial will be about him, and he won't be there to defend himself against Chevron calumny."

Frankel reported that Judge Kaplan even went so far as to deny Donziger attorney John Keker the right to speak on a telephone conference call with the judge and Chevron’s lawyers.

She wrote from the transcript of an August 2nd phone conference. “At the end of the conference, John Keker said, ‘Your honor, can I say something?’ Kaplan replied: ‘No, Mr. Keker. You're not in the case for this purpose. You're being given the courtesy of being conferenced in but the scope of your intervention has been fixed.’"

Meanwhile the Ecuadorians, represented by Smyser, Kaplan & Veselka, see Judge Kaplan’s actions as proof of his bias.

"Judge Kaplan encouraged Chevron to file the lawsuit against Steven Donziger and when Donziger demanded an immediate jury trial Judge Kaplan all but directed Chevron to drop him as a defendant," said the Ecuadorians’ spokeswoman Karen Hinton. "Now he won't let Donziger anywhere near his courtroom. This is turning into a home-cooked judicial bailout for Chevron."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Car Talk Advice: Don’t Buy Gas From Chevron

Here’s some more sound automobile advice from Car Talk: Don’t buy gas at Chevron stations. See article here

Jamie Lincoln Kitman, New York bureau chief for Automobile Magazine and automotive editor for GQ magazine, says Chevron’s “epic despoiling” of the Ecuadorian rainforest is “right up there with the worst in the oil industry’s oversubscribed Hall of Shame.”

“In fact, it may even make BP look good.”

Kitman posted to the popular NPR show’s Web site, where he is a contributor, here:

So if you’re the kind of person who boycotted BP after the Gulf disaster, Kitman says, you may want to consider passing by Chevron stations, too.

The blog has been getting hits; there were more than 30 comments posted recently, most of them like these:

Just one more example of big corporation greediness outdone only by their lawyer’s sleaziness!
Thanks for the info. I’ll put them on my posilutely not to be used list!

Eye-opening. Thank you very much for writing this.

The record, says Kitman, “reveals that Texaco and Chevron have outdone themselves even by the low standards of their industry.” (Chevron bought Texaco, which did the actual polluting, and assumed its liability.)

That isn’t, of course, just Kitman’s opinion. The Ecuadorian court hearing the epic 20-year lawsuit the victims filed against Chevron agreed in February. Chevron, which once wanted the suit heard in Ecuador, now of course wants to move the fight back to the U.S. – just one of many astoundingly dilatory tactics Chevron’s lawyers have deployed against the 30,000 people whose land and water was befouled with toxins.

So Chevron, as Kitman writes, “is back to papering plaintiffs to death, with endless discovery requests hurled at [the Ecuadorians’ lawyer], as well as former interns, associates and lawyers on the case.”

“But whatever happens,” Kitman concludes,  “you may want to stay out of Chevron stations for some time to come.”