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Judge Zambrano Denies Fraud while Helping Chevron’s Case

November 6, 2013

The latest development in Chevron v. Donziger seems to help out Chevron’s case although the claim was supposed to go against Chevron. Yesterday, Judge Nicolas Zambrano who issued the $19 billion judgment against Chevron testified that he wrote the entire 188-page ruling on his own and denied paying Alberto Guerra, a former Ecuadorian Judge, to write it for him. However, when questioned by Randy Mastro, a lawyer for Chevron, there was many inconsistencies in his story. Mastro asked Zambrano about specific sections of the ruling and Zambrano was unable to explain or account for reasoning, data and terms used in the ruling. This “pop quiz” as some are calling it, seemed to pay off.

Some questions from Randy Mastro:

Can you name what the author of the ruling “has described as the most powerful carcinogenic agent considered in this decision?

Zambrano answered: “I don’t recall exactly, but if you give me the names perhaps I can remember.”

Please identify what the “author of the opinion had called the statistical data of the highest importance to delivering this ruling?

Zambrano tried to guess but answered incorrectly.

“What theory of causation does the author of the ruling say he agrees with?”

Zambrano answered: “I don’t recall.”

Mastro also asked Zambrano how he could have cited French and English case law without speaking either of those languages. Zambrano told the court that he paid a woman “to take dictation [and] helped him in his research, pulling documents from the internet and translating them into Spanish.” However, he was unable to say whether she spoke any foreign languages. In addition, Mastro asked why Alberto Guerra’s “datebook showed multiple payments of $1,000 and $2,000 from Zambrano”, to which he said he did not know.

Today, attorneys for Donziger will have a chance to question Zambrano.


Sources: Reuters and CNN Money

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