Chevron Moves to Dismiss in Yaiguaje

Chevron and the two Chevron affiliates also named as defendant in the Canadian action for recognition and enforcement of the Lago Agrio judgment, Chevron Canada Ltd. and Chevron Canada Finance Ltd., have moved to dismiss the case. Here are the papers:

  • Chevron: Notice of Motion; Affidavit of Frank G. Soler
  • Chevron Canada Finance Ltd: Notice of Motion; Affidavit of Jeffrey C. Wasko
  • Chevron Canada Ltd: Notice of Motion; (another) Affidavit of Jeffrey C. Wasko

While Canadians use somewhat different terminology than we do here, the gist of Chevron’s motion is that the court lacks personal jurisdiction. As Chevron puts it, Chevron “does not reside or conduct business in Ontario;” it “has no assets in Ontario;” and “there is no real and substantial connection between Ontario and Chevron Corp.” All of this seems very standard. Of more interest, to me at least, is this: “there is no real and substantial connection between … Ontario and the foreign judgment of the Provincial Court of Sucumbios in Lago Agrio, Ecuador.” I can’t really comment on the relevance of this statement in Canadian law, of course (I’ll try to dragoon the IJA Brigade into commenting on that point), but in US cases, I’ve been critical of applying ordinary rules about personal jurisdiction and forum non conveniens to actions on judgments (e.g., First Investment Corp. of the Marshall Islands v. Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding (E.D. La. 2012), Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank v. Saad Trading (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2012)).

The two Canadian affiliates argue that they are not judgment debtors and that they are not liable for the debts of Chevron. Again, this is expected and seems very standard. They also argue the equivalent of a lack of personal jursidiction: Chevron Canada Ltd. points to its minimal business presence in Ontario, and Chevron Canada Finance Ltd. flat-out says that it “does not reside or carry on business in Ontario, and has no assets in Ontario.”

We will have more commentary on these developments from a Canadian perspective on Monday. Stay tuned!

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2012), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

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