[NEW YORK, NY] Today, the legal team for Steven Donziger and the Ecuadorian Defendants in Chevron’s RICO suit filed a motion to strike the testimony of the company’s star witness, Alberto Guerra, on grounds that Chevron’s compensation for his testimony is tantamount to a bribe, not unlike the dozens Guerra admitted on the stand to making and taking during his years as a corrupt lawyer and judge in Ecuador.
The motion details how Chevron’s monetary and non-monetary compensation package clearly runs afoul of the federal Anti-Gratuity statute, as well as the Rules of Professional Conduct of New York, has provided an overwhelming incentive to lie and exaggerate in order to gain a better bargaining position with Chevron, as he testified he did repeatedly in court last week.
The motion notes the view of prominent legal scholar and law professor Erwin Chemerinsky in a sworn declaration for the Defendants
“if a party or its counsel were permitted to pay a testifying witness for physical evidence, beyond the reasonable value of that evidence, and to pay the witness a salary in exchange for an agreement to testify, there would be little left of the rule against compensating fact witnesses.”
We encourage you to read the motion in its entirety as it also highlights the admitted lies, the contradictions, and the suspect assertions in Guerra’s testimony, as well as the total lack of anything approaching corroborating evidence for his explosive allegations of ghostwriting and bribery.
Click here to read the motion [PDF document] & see below for additional comments.
Comment of Chris Gowen, spokesperson for Steven Donziger, and Professor of Legal Ethics at American University, Washington College of Law »
“The Chevron payments to Guerra constitute outright bribes that violate both criminal laws and the ethical rules governing the legal profession. As a practicing trial attorney, I know that if I ever put a witness like Mr. Guerra on the stand, the state bar would have every right to revoke my license to practice law.”
Comment of Han Shan, spokesperson for the Ecuadorian RICO Defendants »
“Guerra and his obsequious storytelling seem to Chevron a magic bullet to evade accountability for the destruction and suffering it has caused in Ecuador. But it won’t work; the District Court in New York cannot act as an appellate court to the Ecuadorian judiciary, and deny the communities of the Amazon the court victory they fought for and won.”