Mar 022012


  • I blogged yesterday about the US Supreme Court hearing a case regarding foreign plaintiffs suing under the Alien Tort Act. published an interesting article that discusses the exchange and the judge’s perceived hostility towards the plaintiffs.
  • Chevron is pleased that an international arbitration tribunal has ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear Chevron’s claim against Ecuador.  The tribunal took its lead from treaty law.  This was not unexpected, and the saga continues…
  • Human Rights abuses in Syria continue to dominate world news, and today the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to condemn the Syrian regime’s continual abuses against it’s citizens.  The vote was 37 to 3.  Among the three nations voting no, China and Russia have continually blocked the UN from taking decisive action in this matter.  For now, the world will continue to watch the images from Syria in horror.
Feb 242012

Here is a brief update on the multi-jurisdictional dispute between Chevron and Ecuadorian plaintiffs:

You might remember that Ecuadorian plaintiffs accused Chevron (well, technically Texaco until Chevron bought Texaco) of dumping waste and causing illness in their country.  The case moved from the United States to Ecuador and back to the United States.  Each side has been trading shots, with Chevron claiming it did not receive a fair trial in Ecuador.

As I previously reported, Chevron is faced with an $18 billion judgment by an Ecuadorian court.  In an effort to block enforcement of the judgment, Chevron got a US arbitration firm to freeze the Ecuadorian judgment.  Of course, this week the Ecuadorian court rejected the arbitrator’s decision (surprise!).

The dispute may be movin’ on up… a federal court has referred Chevron’s appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

This saga is long from over and could impact the liability of United States based companies operating abroad.  This saga is long from over…

[A link to the news sans legal analysis can be found here.]

Apr 132010

There is an interesting article on International Arbitration found in the April 2010 ABA Journal.   The piece, by Steven Seidenberg, discusses the decline of International Arbitration and considers whether US Attorneys are to blame.

You can catch up on international ADR trends by reading the article in this month’s issue or by reading it online.

Mar 312010

A brief news update… Today the government of Ecuador rejected a $700 million dollar arbitration award Chevron obtained against the South American nation.

The Financial Times of London [registration required] reports:

An international arbitration tribunal in the Hague on Tuesday awarded Chevron, the US oil company, $700m in a claim against Ecuador stemming from allegations that the country failed to pay for millions of barrels of oil in the 1990s…

The arbitration panel found that Ecuador had violated the Treaty through “undue delay of the Ecuadorian courts,” thereby failing to provide effective means of asserting claims and enforcing rights.

It awarded Chevron approximately $700m in principal damages and interest, as of December 22 2006, pending further proceedings to determine applicable taxes, compound interest, and costs.

The ruling is a setback for Ecuador, which has pulled out of the World Bank’s arbitration programme – the second country ever to do so.

Chevron’s claims derive from a 2006 exchange between Texaco [now Chevron] and Ecuador under a US-Ecuadorian Investment Treaty, interpreted under UNCITRAL rules.

The judgment does not include Ecuadorian claims against Chevron for environmental damage.

Mar 162010

Alternative Dispute Resolution, specifically arbitration, is an extremely popular business practice; however, ADR can cause headaches in various international venues.

As western businesses have expanded to the United Arab Emirates, they have found arbitration difficult.  While the UAE has ratified the New York Convention, the Emirate’s court system is racing to catch up to standard international business practices.

More can be found at the Financial Times.

For more on arbitration in Dubai, see Raid Abu-Manneh’s brief 2009 article on whether Dubai is a Regional Arbitration Center, curtsey of Mayer Brown.