That’s what Judge Kaplan in New York told Chevron today when he refused to allow the company to serve another subpoena on Amazon Watch. The original subpoenas relate to Chevron’s lawsuit in New York against the Ecuadorian plaintiffs and their counsel who won a $19 billion judgment against the oil company in Ecuador in 2011.
Earlier this month, a judge in California had quashed two sweeping subpoenas issued by Chevron to Amazon Watch, concluding they were “egregiously overbroad” and sought “the heart of Amazon Watch’s expressive activity.” ERI had argued that the subpoenas were a violation of Amazon Watch’s First Amendment rights and an obvious effort by Chevron to harass and intimidate one of its most vocal critics. Although Chevron had urged the court to make a finding that Amazon Watch had engaged in fraudulent conduct, the court found that “all evidence before this Court suggests otherwise[.]” Rather, “[a]ll that Chevron has shown … is that Amazon Watch has been very critical of Chevron’s operations in Ecuador.”
Unsatisfied, Chevron went back to Judge Kaplan seeking another bite at the apple. But he wasn’t buying it either. “The essence of Chevron’s problem is of its own making,” he wrote in his order. The law was clear when Chevron served the first subpoena, Judge Kaplan said, and “by framing the subpoena as broadly as it did, it took its chances” that the court would throw out the subpoenas. “Nor did [Chevron] seek to modify its first subpoena … despite the approach and then expiration of the deadline for the service of documents requests in this action and despite earlier litigation in this Court concerning the timeliness of the service of the first subpoena on Amazon Watch.”
Chevron has played dirty, manipulating the discovery process to go after anyone that dares speak out against the company. This time they aren’t getting away with it.