Cases & Deals

Chevron obtains discovery against former opposing counsel in long-running litigation in Ecuador and BIT Arbitration against Republic of Ecuador

Client(s) Chevron Corporation

Jones Day client Chevron Corporation has been involved in contentious litigation in Ecuador in which the plaintiffs have alleged billions of dollars in damages. In response, Chevron has instituted an arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador pursuant to the U.S.-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty, seeking redress for violation of Chevron's contractual rights and international law.

As part of its role as counsel for Chevron in this matter, Jones Day initiated an action in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782, for Chevron to obtain discovery from Dr. Alberto Wray. Dr. Wray is a former member of the Ecuadorian Supreme Court who originally filed the complaint against Chevron in Ecuador while simultaneously acting as an attorney for the Republic of Ecuador in various matters. He now maintains a private practice in the District of Columbia.

Dr. Wray, the Ecuadorian Plaintiffs, and the Republic of Ecuador resisted Chevron's application, raising arguments against the propriety of Section 1782 discovery generally and invoking both foreign and domestic privileges in light of his status as an attorney. The Court, in two published decisions in as many weeks, rejected these arguments and compelled Dr. Wray to be deposed in the United States, and to produce all relevant documents located in the United States in his possession. Both the district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused to stay the production order pending appeal, and Dr. Wray and the Interested Parties ultimately dismissed their appeal. Both the litigation in Ecuador and the investment arbitration remain pending.

In re Veiga, 746 F. Supp. 2d 8 (D.D.C. Oct. 20, 2010) & 746 F. Supp. 2d 27 (D.D.C. Nov. 3, 2010)