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Why Patton Boggs Has Come to Regret Picking a Fight With Chevron

New York lawyer Steven Donziger
New York lawyer Steven DonzigerPhotograph by Rodrigo Buendia/AFP via Getty Images

For Patton Boggs, things have gone from bad to worse. The legendary Washington law and lobbying firm compounded its economic troubles by getting entangled in litigation against the sort of company it normally represents. And now that litigation has taken a turn for the ominous where Patton Boggs is concerned.

A federal judge in New York has dismissed a suit Patton Boggs filed against Chevron, which accused the oil giant of bad faith in response to the law firm’s attempt to enforce a multibillion-dollar pollution judgment in Ecuador. While the fizzling of the Patton Boggs case by itself might not seem significant, the dismissal leaves behind Chevron’s counter claims against the law firm, in which the oil company accuses the Washington partnership of participating in a massive fraud and coverup related to that same Ecuadorian judgment.