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, and has provided an overwhelming incentive to lie and exaggerate in order to gain a better bargaining position with Chevron, as he testified he has done repeatedly.
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 and/or download the motion (PDF document).