Donziger Files Reply in Support of Motion to Dismiss RICO Case


Yesterday, on February 6th, lawyers for Steven Donziger filed a Reply Motion in Support of Donziger’s Motion to Dismiss.

Today, in the case of Sykes v. Harris, Miguel Estrada, a partner in the Gibson Dunn law firm—which also represents Chevron—is arguing before the 2nd Circuit that RICO doesn’t permit private parties to seek injunctive relief. In the Reply Motion filed last night, Deepak Gupta, Steven Donziger’s appellate lawyer, attached Gibson Dunn’s Merits Brief in the Sykes case.

Donziger’s Reply Motion opens with an introduction:

Before turning to the many reasons why Chevron lacks standing to bring this case, one lingering issue deserves mention. In a lengthy footnote, Chevron’s opposition to our jurisdictional motion smuggles in a sur-reply addressing the availability of injunctive relief under RICO. On that issue, we can hardly improve on what Chevron’s own law firm has told the Second Circuit in a case that, as it happens, will be argued tomorrow: “[T]he RICO statute does not afford injunctive relief to private parties. Indeed, the text and history of the RICO statute shows that Congress affirmatively decided not to authorize private injunctive claims.”1 That brief (attached here) persuasively urges the Second Circuit to “now confirm that private RICO claims for injunctive relief fail as a matter of law.” If the Second Circuit agrees, as it should, then Chevron cannot get the relief it seeks here. We will not attempt to resolve this intramural dispute among Chevron and its lawyers. And this Court shouldn’t have to either: This case should come to an end long before.

Click here to read and/or download the entire Reply Brief.

Donziger & Associates issued a press release yesterday, with the headline, Chevron Law Firm Gibson Dunn Concedes that Legal Basis for RICO Case Against Ecuadorians Is Invalid. An excerpt:

NEW YORK, Feb. 06 /CSRwire/ – In a stunning development, the corporate law firm leading Chevron’s campaign to evade a $9.5 billion Ecuador court judgment has filed briefs before a federal appeals court conceding that the oil giant’s RICO case in the United States lacks a valid legal basis and might be fatally flawed.
 
Lawyer Miguel Estrada from Chevron’s outside law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher will argue tomorrow in a separate case before a key appellate court that the RICO statute does not permit private parties to seek injunctive relief—the exact same relief sought by Chevron to block the Ecuador judgment in a controversial RICO case currently pending before federal judge Lewis A. Kaplan. If Gibson Dunn wins the argument before the appellate court, it likely would foreclose its other client Chevron from obtaining the relief it seeks in its own case.  (Judge Kaplan has yet to decide Chevron’s claims.)

Read the rest of the press release here.