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$18B Enviro Case a ‘Donnybrook’ for Parties’ Law Firms; ‘Both Sides Hate Each Other,’ Law Prof Says

Posted Oct 6, 2011 7:15 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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It's not unusual to see opposing attorneys become friends again the moment a hard-fought case or courtroom argument is over.

But unlike many counsel for whom the war of words is something of an act, corporate attorneys at two prominent United States law firms engaged in pitched battle over an $18 billion award in an Ecuador environmental case are showing their real feelings, law professor Robert Percival of the University of Maryland tells Reuters. "Both sides hate each other."

The litigation, in which Chevron Corp. is claiming fraud by some plaintiffs, some opposing counsel and the Ecuador judicial system, is a "donnybrook," he says.

In an interview with the news agency, a partner of Gibson Dunn, which represents Chevron, criticized Patton Boggs for not stepping down from the case, citing the Ecuadoreans' conduct and a claimed conflict on the law firm's part.

In another interview, a partner of Patton Boggs called Gibson Dunn "the pliant instrument of its client."

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "2nd Circuit Nixes Injunction 3 Days After Hearing, Lifts Ban on Pursuing $18B Award Against Chevron"

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