NCLC urged the Second Circuit to affirm the lower court's temporary injunction barring enforcement of an Ecuadorian Court’s multi-billion judgment against Chevron, which the District Court concluded was likely fraudulently obtained. This case arises out of a lawsuit in Ecuador brought by American trial lawyers on behalf of Ecuadorian natives against Texaco (now Chevron) for alleged environmental pollution. The District Court identified unrebutted evidence to support Chevron's claim that the plaintiffs fraudulently created scientific evidence, and that the plaintiffs attempted to intimidate and influence Ecuadorian judges. The Court subsequently enjoined the plaintiffs from attempting to enforce the judgment outside of Ecuador while the court considers the case. In its brief, NCLC argued that the District Court properly, and reasonably, exercised its power to temporarily restrain the enforcement of an unlawfully procured foreign judgment. This narrowly tailored injunction is necessary to prevent the plaintiff’s global plan to tie up the assets of a major United States corporation. NCLC warned that overturning the injunction gives plaintiffs' lawyers the license to engage in questionable and corrupt behavior to secure a favorable legal result in the foreign forum; plaintiffs would then be able to enforce the corrupt judgment around the globe.
The Second Circuit denied the Ecuadorian plaintiffs' attempt to recuse Judge Kaplan, vacated the preliminary injunction, and stayed Chevron's claim for a declaration that the Ecuadorian judgment is unenforceable.
Amicus brief filed 6/30/11. Preliminary injunction vacated and litigation stayed 9/19/11.