Skip to content
Subscriber Only

In Chevron vs. Donziger, Victory Trumps Money, for Now

In Chevron vs. Donziger, Victory Trumps Money, for Now
Photograph by Teo Lannie/Getty Images

In the courtroom, what looks like retreat sometimes is actually the opposite: aggression. That’s what’s going on in Chevron’s closely watched racketeering suit against Steven Donziger, the New York lawyer who engineered a $19 billion pollution verdict against the U.S. oil company in 2011 in Ecuador.

Chevron on Sept. 9 informed a federal judge in New York that it planned to curtail and possibly drop its pursuit of money damages in the civil racketeering case. Far from an admission of defeat, though, this maneuver signals Chevron’s conclusion that its main goal—neutralizing Donziger’s historic verdict—would be easier to accomplish in a streamlined trial, now scheduled to start on Oct. 15.