Mother of More Litigation
A very insightful piece! ["The Tort Heard Round the World
," February.] Not only does this dispute already have a movie, I suspect it will be the topic of law school classes for years to come as large pieces of litigation continue to play out "round the world."
Your article is a good summation of the Chevron case in Ecuador, although it neglects to mention the undisputed and real damage done - including, but not limited to, 900 petroleum waste pits and a catalog of contaminated streams and water supplies. When will Chevron own up and dive in?
S. Lee Juniper
"The Tort Heard Round the World" focuses on what it calls a "bare-knuckle fight" between law firms in a lawsuit against Chevron in Ecuador, but the narrative omits a much more important aspect of the case: Seven different U.S. federal courts from around the country - including one from California - have applied the crime-fraud exception to grant Chevron discovery of privileged material from the Ecuadorian plaintiffs' U.S.-based lawyers and consultants. As one court found, the evidence of "inappropriate, unethical and perhaps illegal conduct" by the Ecuadorian plaintiffs' representatives has sent "shockwaves through the nation's legal communities." That's the real story of the fraudulent Ecuador litigation against Chevron.
Theodore J. Boutrous Jr.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (representing Chevron), Los Angeles
An Odd Duck
I enjoyed "222 Years Ago
" [Hindsight, ESQ., February] and suggest that you might write more about the incident involving David Terry, the former California Chief Justice. It's very interesting and resulted in Justice Stephen Field - a future U.S. Supreme Court justice - actually being arrested for murder by local authorities on account of his body-guard (U.S. Marshal David Neagle) killing Terry. (Field was quickly released.) Terry was an odd duck by any measure. He killed someone earlier in a duel while serving as Chief Justice of California, but since he lived here in Fresno for a while, we sort of enjoy his history.
I support the high-speed rail system ["High-Speed Rail Wreck?
" ESQ., February]. It's exactly the kind of project California needs. I think it is good for our economy and business across California - creating jobs, not to mention providing a needed service, connecting Californians in a way that we have never been connected before, and creating new opportunities.
I. Melissa Centeno
Excellent online version of California Lawyer
. The readability, presentation, colors, and layout are fabulous. Congratulations to all.