The Chevron Ecuador trial pitting Steven Donziger against the American Oil Company based on its RICO complaint, has taken a turn against the now-famous trial lawyer.
According to a number of sources, Jeffrey Shinder, Managing Partner of the law firm Constantine Cannon’s New York office, took the stand and explained that he had his law firm bow out of working with Steven Donziger on ethical grounds, after he got word that Steven had ghost-written the environmental reports of consultants who worked with him, and did so to falsely prove that Texaco (which Chevron bought in 2000) had dumped significant amounts of pollution in Ecuador’s Amazon region between 1968 and 1992.
“I wanted no part of it,” Shinder said in the trial, which is being staged federal court in New York.
Steven Donziger reportedly recruited Jeffrey Shinder to assist him in 2009, but then Mr. Shinder backed out of the case when the corrupt tactics came to his attention during his research period.
The Shinder finding matched Chevron’s consistent claim that the documents that served as the intellectual foundation of Steven Donziger and the plaintiff’s attack on Chevron were, indeed, ghostwritten. The documents were the basis for Ecuador’s equally fraudulent verdict that Chevron was guilty of environmental damage to the tune of $19 billion.
Since Chevron has no assets in Ecuador, Donziger, Amazon Watch operatives, and the President of Ecuador himself, have gone on a Worldwide legal chase to tag the company’s assets in any nation the plaintiffs could get a court hearing in.
So far, the closest they came to achieving victory was in Argentina, but Chevron threatened to pull its investment out of the potentially lucrative $1.24 billion YPF SA shale deal, and the courts released their hold on Chevron’s assets there.
But the point is, this chase for Chevron’s funds has been entirely based on a assembly of fraudulent data into a so-called set of reports. And now that light has been shed on Donziger’s activities, his case is falling apart.