Lawyer and Client illustration from Bleak House

Lawyer and Client in Jarndyce v. Jarndyce

Julian Ku of Opinio Juris participated in discussions about the Lago Agrio case at the recent ASIL meeting. Read the summary of his presentation (no longer available online) not just for his conclusion about what happened in Ecuador (he concludes that “Chevron seems to have been seriously wronged in the Ecuador proceeding”), but for an illustration of how difficult it is to come up with the right metaphor to describe the case. He notes that Professor Daniel Bodansky likened the case to Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, but he himself describes it as a “death-cage match”.

It’s true that the case has dragged on for many years, but given the amount of the Ecuadoran judgment, it’s impossible (I hope) that the case can end as Jarndyce ended, with all the money at stake eaten up by lawyers’ fees. Also, the Court of Chancery may have been slothful, wasteful, and out-of-touch, but its proceedings had a certain charm that I say is lacking in Judge Kaplan’s court, with all due respect to the judge. So I vote for death-cage match.

Photo credit: Wikipedia