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Appellate Brief: Chevron, Counsel Used Unfair Tactics to Try to Force Patton Boggs Off Case

Posted Dec 16, 2011 4:04 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In a brief filed this week with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, a well-known law firm accuses its opposing counsel and a major corporation of using unfair tactics to try to force it to step down from representing the plaintiffs in a multibillion-dollar environmental case, the National Law Journal reports.

Chevron Corp. and its counsel, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, made false and misleading extrajudicial statements to the media about Patton Boggs, pursued meritless conflict complaints and sought judicial relief in a matter in which Patton Boggs was neither counsel nor a named party, contends the appellate brief filed Monday by Patton Boggs.

"These actions were taken with the intent to intimidate Patton Boggs into withdrawing from representing its clients, to induce a breach of contract between Patton Boggs and its clients, and to warn off any other law firm that might dare to oppose Chevron," contends the firm in its brief.

However, partner Theodore Boutrous Jr. of Gibson Dunn pooh-poohed the Patton Boggs contentions, saying that they had already been rejected by U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy Jr.

"This is a frivolous appeal of a frivolous lawsuit that Judge Kennedy rejected three times," he told the NLJ.

Earlier coverage:

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

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