How a former mob prosecutor has helped Chevron successfully defend itself against a multi-billion dollar Ecuadorian lawsuit and verdict.
As Chevron’s New York trial against lawyer Steven Donziger enters its fifth week, there is growing speculation that it will end with a clear victory for the US oil company.
Donziger has led an Ecuadorian environmental lawsuit against Chevron that ended with a 2011 verdict, which originally asked for $19 billion in damages. Yesterday, a high court in Ecuador reduced that to $9.5 billion.
The verdict claims Chevron is responsible for polluting the Amazon, a claim the oil company denies. Chevron also claims the verdict and lawsuit were based on fraud and it made its case through documents and testimony from several witnesses in the case that started October 15. In it, Chevron is aiming to prove that Donziger violated the US Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
And the man who is credited with the successful trial strategy is Randy Mastro, Co-Chair of the Litigation Practice Group at Gibson Dunn. A former federal prosecutor who gained prominence pursuing mobsters in New York, he also served as New York’s deputy mayor and chief of staff under Rudolph Giuliani.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my 33 years as a lawyer and public prosecutor,” he tells Latinvex. “It’s really the brazenness, the audaciousness of the conduct, and then to take the false narrative created in Ecuador and trumpet it in the US, to shake down a US company….Now an American court will be in a position to hold those responsible for their actions.”
- Randy Mastro: Chevron’s Star Lawyer