Updates: Chevron, Trial Lawyer Tax Break

Developments on two issues we wrote about last week.

Ecuador-related litigation against Chevron: The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a motion by trial lawyers suing Chevron who wanted to limit even further the release of footage from the movie, “Crude.” Chevron originally wanted to see all footage not shown in the movie, but the court had ordered the director, Joe Berlinger, to turn over only footage that documented actions of the plaintiffs’ legal team,  and court and government officials in Ecuador. It was a victory for Chevron: The company has access to information necessary to defend itself and for its employees in Ecuador to defend themselves from ginned-up criminal charges. At the same time, Berlinger described the outcome as a limited victory for his side.

As we wrote last week, the lawyers for the Amazon Defense Coalition, the PR front of the U.S. trial lawyers campaign, responded with alacrity and alarm, asking for an emergency stay and further restrictions on the footage. Huh. Wonder what event they wanted to keep under wraps.  The Second Circuit quickly responded, rejecting the motion. Here’s the court’s ruling.

Trial lawyer tax break: The American Association for Justice has been keeping its head down on the stories about the trial lawyers going to the U.S. Treasury to get a tax break for speculative, contigency-fee litigation, circumventing Congress in the process.The Hill now has a response blog post, “Change in trial lawyer deduction would put firms on equal footing, advocate says.”  The AAJ feels so strongly about it, its “spokesperson” is not identified by name.

We’re confident that trial lawyers deserve this $1.6 billion tax break, just don’t quote us on it!

Leave a Reply