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Feminists Weigh In for Chevron in Racketeering-Oil Pollution Case

Steven Donziger gestures during a press conference on March 19, 2014 in Quito, Ecuador
Steven Donziger gestures during a press conference on March 19, 2014 in Quito, EcuadorPhotograph by Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images

High-stakes court cases draw a crowd. Parties not directly involved in the immediate dispute file “friend of the court” briefs to illuminate larger stakes and hidden implications. The epic Chevron-Ecuador pollution litigation—which has spawned an oil company racketeering counterattack against the lead plaintiffs’ lawyer—is no different.

Business groups have chipped in amicus briefs warning that the campaign against Chevron represents a classic corporate shakedown. Human-rights scholars have weighed in on both sides, some condemning Chevron, others warning that the company’s antagonist, attorney Steven Donziger, succumbed to corrupt means to achieve his stated goal of helping Ecuadorian farmers and tribe members.