Chevron asked a federal court in New York Monday to order a Manhattan litigation-consulting firm to turn over documents describing its work with plaintiffs lawyer Steven Donziger.
The demand for information is directed at H5, a company that advises attorneys on how to “find the information they need in litigation while dramatically curtailing litigation costs,” among other services, Bloomberg said.
Beginning in 2009, Chevron alleges, H5 helped Donziger in an Ecuador pollution case despite knowing he was using fraud and deceit to pursue the claims.
“One of the tasks Chevron alleges H5 assisted with was the establishment of a shell corporation in Gibraltar to serve as the recipient of any recovery in the case. The shell corporation is called Amazonia Recovery Ltd., Chevron said in court papers filed last week.”
Chevron alleges that an online-gambling mogul and Gibraltar resident named Russell DeLeon has invested up to $25 million in Donziger’s legal campaign against the oil company.
“Chevron has sued DeLeon in Gibraltar, accusing him of financing a corrupt case in exchange for a share of any proceeds,” Bloomberg said.
DeLeon has denied wrongdoing but a judge in Gibraltar ruled in mid-March that Chevron can proceed with its civil suit against him.
Donziger won an $18 billion judgment against Chevron in Ecuador three years ago on behalf of indigenous Amazon tribes. The judgment was later reduced by an Ecuador court to $9.5 billion.
Chevron sued Donziger in federal court in New York, alleging that the Ecuador award was tainted by bribery and fraud.
In March, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that the Ecuador judgment was the product of graft and “egregious fraud.”
He barred Donziger from profiting from the award or trying to collect it.
Donziger has appealed Judge Kaplan’s ruling.
DeLeon has known Donziger since they were students together at Harvard Law School. He reportedly made a billion-dollar fortune with a digital gambling company called PartyGaming.
Earlier this month, Washington, D.C. law firm Patton Boggs agreed to pay $15 million to settle a claims by Chevron over the firm’s efforts to help Donziger collect the Ecuador judgment.
Patton Boggs also granted Chevron the extraordinary right to question two of its partners under oath about the case.
H5 said in a statement to the AmLaw Litigation Daily that it would comply with “legal and appropriate requests for information.”