Ecuador Internacional

Environmental Practice Group Of The Year: Gibson Dunn

Law 360 - Juan Carlos Rodriguez 12/01/2015

Fuente: Law 360

Fuente: Law 360

Law360, New York (January 09, 2015, 7:20 PM ET) -- Gibson Dunn’s environmental practice group spent 2014 racking up huge wins for clients, from obtaining a finding that a $9.5 billion damages award against Chevron Corp. for alleged contamination of an Amazon oil field was gained through fraudulent means to securing the dismissal of key plaintiffs’ claims in toxic tort litigation against International Paper Co., earning the firm a place among Law360’s Environmental Practice Groups of the Year.

Peter E. Seley, a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office and co-chair of the environmental litigation and mass torts practice group, said there are 45 attorneys in the group, 19 of whom are partners, spread throughout domestic offices, particularly in Washington, D.C., and California.

He said the group has become established at the firm over a 30-year period, with a lot of growth having come in the last decade as clients reacted to a wave of toxic tort litigation.

In March, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan declared the $9.5 billion Amazon pollution judgment against Chevron to be the product of an “egregious fraud” by attorney Steven Donziger and his Ecuadorean clients and prohibited enforcement of the award in the United States. Judge Kaplan divested Donziger and the so-called Lago Agrio plaintiffs of any interest in the underlying Ecuadorean litigation and blocked enforcement proceedings in this country.

Seley, who was on the trial team, said the litigation is a case study in how a dogged, patient, long-term strategy can unwind plaintiffs’ claims.

“There were times in the mid-2000s where there was a lot of negative press, a lot of kudos going to Donziger and his co-conspirators, and it really took a long time for Chevron to uncover all of the facts and show people that what was being said wasn’t accurate,” Seley said.

He said many other companies have realized, through the Chevron litigation, that they can’t just be concerned about negative press or negative attention, but also must make sure that what’s being alleged has solid foundations.

For Chevron, the effect of the hard legal work is that courts across the globe may be less likely to enforce the Ecuadorean court’s award in light of the thorough decision authored by Judge Kaplan.

“It taints the judgment that was issued by the Ecuadorian court. Not only on its substance, but also in the way that the judgment was obtained by the plaintiffs,” Seley said.

And he said the case also nicely highlights the advantages offered by Gibson Dunn’s ability to bring different types of expertise to bear, depending on what’s needed for the client. He said all the lawyers worked, over four years, pulling on threads in the plaintiffs’ claims to reveal something they could use in court.

“It was one discovery matter laid on top of another discovery matter, laid on top of yet another, all in different locations, that began to really reveal the extent of the fraud,” Seley said.

In other litigation involving allegations that International Paper Co.’s operations at a former mill in Bastrop, Louisiana, caused personal injuries and property damage, the firm successfully defeated key claims made by the nearly 400 plaintiffs.

First, in March, the federal district court judge granted summary judgment on all plaintiffs’ property damage claims and counts of trespass and public nuisance. Just over a week later, the court granted summary judgment on all claims — with prejudice — asserted by four bellwether plaintiffs due to insufficient evidence of exposure to the alleged emissions.

Then, in a series of rulings between April to November, the court granted the company’s motions to exclude all seven experts proffered by plaintiffs, including all of plaintiffs’ fate and transport and medical causation experts.

“Like the Chevron case, toxic tort cases are cases that companies generally take notice of. They are high-risk cases, potentially high-value cases, and they also can garner a lot of negative media attention and negative regulatory attention,” Seley said.

He said the Gibson Dunn team was once again able to succeed by drawing on its experience and expertise in handling the complex and technical matters that arose in the matter. Toxic tort cases are challenging because they often involve a host of scientific issues that are not the language of everyday litigators, Seley said, so a defendant really needs a firm and group that has specialty in these areas.

In these cases, Gibson Dunn adopted a strategy of focusing early on issues that are often the biggest challenges in plaintiffs’ cases: fate and transport, causation, and some of the environmental science.

“The International Paper cases are a great example of why you want to employ that strategy, because ultimately, it narrows the focus of the case, it ensures that non-meritorious claims are eliminated and it makes these cases much more manageable from a defense perspective,” he said.

Another big win for group in 2014 included securing an order requiring the Sierra Club to pay $6.4 million in attorneys’ fees for filing a “frivolous” citizen suit against Energy Future Holdings Corp. subsidiary Luminant Generation Co. LLC.

The firm also helped International Paper escape a $3 billion environmental enforcement suit after a Harris County, Texas, jury found the company not responsible for the release of dioxins into the San Jacinto River over the span of 35 years.

And it helped its client Lockheed Martin Corp. secure a declaratory judgment under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act against the federal government in a dispute over a multi-million dollar cleanup of a large Cold War-era rocket motor manufacturing facility near Redlands, California.
 

Fuente Original
  • Últimas Noticias

  • 24/05/19 El Oriente

    Noticiero El Oriente Ecuador 24-05-19

    El Oriente

    El Chontacuro, obtenido de las palmas de la chonta, no solo es apetecido para curar males respiratorios y otras enfermedades estacionales, sino también lo acompañan – vivos o cocinados – en diversos platos típicos de la selva.

  • 24/05/19 Ecuador en las Noticias

    2 años de Gobierno

    El Comercio

    Hace dos años, Lenín Moreno llegó con el correísmo pero decidió distanciarse de él. Y demostró que no se trataba de un tema de estilo o de discurso.

  • 24/05/19 Ecuador en las Noticias

    Inversión en central Toachi totaliza USD 859 millones

    El Comercio

    Tras dos años y tres meses de que los trabajos en la central hidroeléctrica Toachi-Pilatón se paralizaran, el Gobierno firmó el pasado 23 de mayo de 2019 un nuevo contrato para concluir con las obras pendientes en este megaproyecto energético.

  • 24/05/19 Ecuador en las Noticias

    Un gobierno de diálogo y lucha contra la corrupción

    El Telégrafo Patricio Carrera

    Ecuador retoma de a poco su identidad pacífica luego de una época autoritaria que intentó imponer un punto de vista y que generó violencia política y corrupción.

  • 24/05/19 Ecuador en las Noticias

    Moreno viajará a Perú a cita presidencial andina

    Expreso Alfonso Albán

    La cita, que conmemorará los 50 años de la Comunidad Andina (CAN), tendrá como sede el Palacio de Gobierno de Perú.

  • 24/05/19 El Oriente

    Comité de Carchi posterga paro y da nueva pórroga al Gobierno

    El Universo

    El Comité Cívico del Carchi decidió aplazar el paro anunciado para este domingo y  dar un plazo de 30 días para que el Gobierno cumpla con las demandas planteadas. 

  • 24/05/19 Caso Chevron

    La defensa de Ecuador sufre otro revés por Chevron

    Expreso Javier Montenegro

    Para Chevron es un triunfo. Según comunicó la petrolera transnacional este 23 de mayo, la Corte de Justicia de New York multó al abogado Steven Donziger por desacato. El jurista, en 2011, ganó un juicio de 18.000 millones de dólares - que luego se redujo a 9.500 millones de dólares, en contra de la empresa por la contaminación ambiental generada en el Oriente ecuatoriano hasta 1992.

  • 24/05/19 Caso Chevron

    Donziger Held In Contempt In $9.5B Chevron Ecuador Fight

    Law 360

    A New York federal court on Thursday imposed sanctions on suspended attorney Steven Donziger, who helped secure a fraudulent $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. in Ecuador, saying Donziger had blatantly ignored the court's orders forbidding him from profiting from the award.

  • 23/05/19 Caso Chevron

    Steven Donziger, Disbarred Former Attorney, Is Held in Contempt of Court

    Forbes Michael I. Krauss

    I've detailed the civil contempt of court motion against Steven Donziger in prior columns. So it's very pleasing to read United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan's remarkable, 75-page, contempt of court ruling. It begins with these words: "Steven Donziger, formerly a lawyer, has led a corrupt effort to extort billions of dollars from Chevron Corporation."

  • 23/05/19 Ecuador en las Noticias

    Comisión quiere llevar a la Fiscalía la investigación del caso Assange

    El Telégrafo

    Julian Assange, al parecer, se mostró como un minucioso conocedor de la historia, geografía y cívica ecuatoriana en su examen para su naturalización.

  • 23/05/19 Ecuador en las Noticias

    Ecuador y Estados Unidos firman seis acuerdos de cooperación y se compromenten a reunirse anualmente

    El Universo

    Patrimonio cultural, combate al narcotráfico y la delincuencia transnacional, seguridad, educación, infraestructura y préstamos hipotecarios son los acuerdos de cooperación firmados.

  • 23/05/19 El Oriente

    Siete bloques petroleros licitados por 24 años

    Expreso Sebastián Angulo

    Una cuantiosa inversión. Eso espera el Gobierno luego de la licitación de siete bloques petroleros ubicados en la provincia de Sucumbíos a través de la denominada Ronda Intracamos, cuyos contratos fueron firmados ayer.

  • 23/05/19 Ecuador en las Noticias

    Una política sazonada con tensión y sorpresas

    Expreso

    Los ingredientes de las decisiones en los últimos dos años. Venezuela, Julian Assange, cambios de vicepresidente y otros.

  • 23/05/19 El Oriente

    La Amazonía abre su mundo mágico al turismo

    La Hora

    En este feriado, los ecuatorianos tienen una nueva oportunidad de disfrutar de la naturaleza y las maravillas que se encuentran y descubren en la Amazonía, una zona llena de secretos, misterios, leyendas y, sobre todo, una rica biodiversidad.

  • 23/05/19 El Oriente

    Delimitación física y cartografía de zona intangible del Yasuní estará en 180 días

    El Telégrafo

    A través del Decreto Ejecutivo 751 firmado el martes por el presidente de la República, Lenín Moreno, se incrementa el área protegida del Parque Nacional Yasuní de 758.051 hectáreas a 818.501,42 hectáreas, en favor de los pueblos en aislamiento.

  • 23/05/19 El Oriente

    Avanza la Minería en la Cordillera del Cóndor

    Vistazo Alejandro Pérez

    Dos proyectos están a punto de inaugurar la minería a gran escala sobre la poco explorada Cordillera del Cóndor. Un bosque amazónico único, lleno de especies endémicas y donde habitan comunidades indígenas; mientras su subsuelo oculta miles de millones de dólares en cobre, oro y plata. Minería y gran biodiversidad en un mismo lugar hacen que sea una zona llena de conflictos socio-ambientales.

  • 23/05/19 El Oriente

    Taxista de Puyo devolvió 5.000 dólares a una pasajera

    El Universo

    La acción de un taxista asombró a los habitantes de la ciudad amazónica de Puyo (Pastaza), luego de que buscara afanosamente hasta encontrar a una pasajera que dejó olvidada una mochila que luego se supo contenía 5 mil dólares.

  • 22/05/19 Ecuador en las Noticias

    Millonario perjuicio al Fisco vinculado a caso 'Arroz Verde'

    El Comercio

    A través de múltiples controles, SRI detectó aproximadamente USD 39 millones correspondientes a impuestos no cancelados por contribuyentes vinculados al caso.

  • 22/05/19 Ecuador en las Noticias

    María Alejandra Vicuña va a juicio

    La Hora

    La Fiscalía presentó suficientes elementos de convicción para que la exvicepresidenta María Alejandra Vicuña sea llamada a juicio como presunta autora del delito de concusión.

  • 22/05/19 Ecuador en las Noticias

    Fiscalía investiga agresión a Trujillo

    Expreso

    Mediante un comunicado, la Fiscalía inicia una investigación previa en el caso del expresidente del CPCCS.