Chevron has filed its opposition to the Lago Agrio Plaintiffs’ petition for mandamus.
There’s a procedural component to the argument: Chevron claims the LAPs have an adequate appellate remedy and that they delayed too long in bringing their petition. But the most interesting part of the brief is the substantive argument about the effect of the Ecuadoran judgment. The LAPs complained that Judge Kaplan improperly kept the entitlement of the Lago Agrio judgment in the case despite the Second Circuit’s decision in Naramjo. But as I have argued, Chevron has the better of this argument, because the LAPs pleaded an affirmative defense that squarely required the judge to consider whether the Ecuadoran judgment was entitled to recognition.
I ordinarily would not give the petition much chance of success, but the Second Circuit has suggested that it is taking the case more seriously than one might expect, calling for a response from Chevron, inviting a response from Judge Kaplan himself, and expediting its consideration. The case has also attracted amicus attention. So I don’t want to make a prediction—we will know more, perhaps, after the oral argument.
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