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Posts under ‘Esther Kiobel’

US Legal Battle over 100,000 Shell Internal Docs

There is a major legal battle in progress in the US courts relating to over 100,000 Shell internal documents and witness depositions arising from the famed Kiobel vs Royal Dutch Petroleum Co case.

Shell lawyers Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has just obtained a stay of a Court Order which had required the discovery materials to be made available to Esther Kiobel by 27 February 2017. The details and the associated court imposed deadlines flowing from the stay are indicated in the above COURT ORDER dated 14 February 2017. 

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US appeal against order to hand over Shell docs for Dutch case

 The most audacious argument being made by Cravath against the Court Order is that since Esther Kiobel has already waited more than twenty years in pursuing Shell, what’s the problem in her waiting even longer!

By John Donovan

Yesterday, despite the fact that the petition case resulting in the recent Court Order had been officially closed, Cravath filed an appeal against handing over the Shell discovery documents for use in the Dutch courts. This is for an imminent human rights action being brought by Esther Kiobel against Shell in its home country.

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Shell Nigerian Litigation: Win in UK. Loss in USA

As has been widely reported, Shell has managed to block the litigation brought in the London High Court by Nigerian litigants claiming for severe environmental damage caused by Shell in Nigeria. An appeal against the decision is likely. I have evidence that may assist.

Two days earlier, on 24 January, Shell lawyers lost a related case in America. A US Federal Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ordered Shell law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, to make available to the Nigerian litigant Ether Kiobel by 27 February, for use in the Dutch courts in a human rights action, more than 100,000 Shell discovery documents stored in the USA. I am involved in that case.

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Esher Kiobel v Shell article published in Dutch FT

The Nigerian Esther Kiobel will drag Shell before the Netherlands courts in a civil lawsuit. She holds the oil company responsible for complicity in the death of her husband Barinem Kiobel in 1995. Kiobel has returned to the US courts years after a legal action against Shell. With a view to a trial in the Netherlands Kiobel requested access to documents in the American action that were introduced by Shell. Kiobel claims these documents can prove that Shell colluded with the Nigerian regime to commit human rights violations. A US judge has approved in late December a request to use the documents in a Dutch court. The Dutch lawyer Channa Samkalden representing Kiobel in the Netherlands, says that the aim is to start the case in the Netherlands’ in the first months of this year.  “In the case going to Shell’s liability will be due to the role of the company at the events that led to the death of Kiobels husband,” says Samkalden.

Human Rights Violations

Barinem Kiobel along with environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and seven others who were protesting against oil exploration in the Niger Delta, were executed by the Nigerian military. Because Shell according to Kiobel supported and provided funding to the army in the fight against groups protesting against oil companies in the Niger Delta, the company was complicit in his death.

In 2009, Shell settled a US case for more than $ 15 million with some relatives of the executed Nigerians, who were known as the Ogoni nine, but the case of Kiobel did not lead to a settlement. The US Supreme Court, however, ruled in 2013 that it had no jurisdiction to rule on her claims.

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Resurrection of Kiobel v Royal Dutch Shell litigation

32 page U.S. Federal Court Order dated 20 December 2016 

U.S. Related FederalCourt Order dated 6 January 2017

Shell is being buried up to its corporate neck in a toxic swamp of current or pending litigation arising from its activities in Nigeria.

In 2013 Shell thought it had killed Nigeria related long-standing litigation in the U.S. courts when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Alien Tort Claims Act does not apply extraterritorially

Esther Kiobel was the bitterly disappointed lead plaintiff seeking justice in the USA on human rights grounds against a company she considers to be evil. She holds Shell responsible for the murder of her late husband, Ogoni leader Dr Barinem Kiobel.

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A devastating blow for Shell in U.S. Federal Court

By John Donovan

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, December 20, 2016, a U.S. website -Law360 – which reports American court proceedings, published an article about a decision made that same day by Federal U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Esther Kiobel had filed a petition seeking documents used in her case against Shell brought in the United States, which was ultimately thwarted by a US Supreme Court decision on extraterritoriality grounds in 2013.

The case is now being brought in the Dutch courts.

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21st Anniversary Commemoration of Ogoni Martyrs

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-10-26-17Text of a Statement By Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, President of MOSOP,  on the Occasion of the Memorial Service held  on November 11, 2016, in Bane, Ogoniland, for the 21st Anniversary Commemoration of Ogoni Martyrs and the passing away of Ken Wiwa Jr.

On 10th November 1995, the Ogoni nation suffered a devastating blow. The Nigeria government and Shell murdered nine Ogoni sons in cold blood for standing up for the truth and for justice. That action routed the world to see things for the first time in the way that we saw things. That singular action exposed the deep abyss of bestiality and brigandage in which Nigeria had sunk. That action signaled to the world that groups like the Ogoni people are imperiled and may not get justice, dignity and any sense of decency in this country called Nigeria. It demonstrated that the Nigeria system was not working for most of its people.

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Shell threatened with Dutch lawsuit over activist’s death in Nigeria

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-17-50-47By Kathryn Higgins: 26 Oct 2016

Esther Kiobel has accused Shell of being complicit in the murder of her husband, anti-oil activist Barinem Kiobel who was executed by the Nigerian military in 1995. Court documents filed in New York last week show that Ms Kiobel plans to commence legal action against the company before the end of this year, with Shell’s home country the Netherlands the most likely setting for the legal showdown. The application in New York is an attempt to secure key documents from Shell’s lawyers that could be of use in the Dutch action.

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Royal Dutch conspired with the Nigerian government

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Esther Kiobel filed a briefin the Southern District of New York on October 12 seeking permission to issue subpoenas against Cravath, Swaine & Moore. The request was for the production of documents for a lawsuit expected to be filed in the Netherlands. The lawsuit is connected to a previous case in which Kiobel was a lead plaintiff, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. In this case, Kiobel alleged human rights and civil liberty violations against the oil and gas giant’s operations in Nigeria’s Ogoni region. The Dutch case, expected to be filed in late 2016, intends to allege that Royal Dutch conspired with the Nigerian government to commit human rights violations against the Ogoni people. Cravath represented Royal Dutch in the U.S lawsuits and this application intends to obtain the discovery from those cases.

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Esther Kiobel Torture Case Against Shell Returns to NYC: John Donovan’s role

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US COURT DOCUMENT FILED 12 OCTOBER 2016

Published Friday 14 October 2016.

MANHATTAN (CN) — Dusting off Supreme Court defeat following one of biggest human-rights battles in decades, a Nigerian woman accusing Royal Dutch Shell of conspiring to torture environmental activists in her homeland returned to New York to prepare for new litigation in the Netherlands.

Esther Kiobel filed her latest lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court on Wednesday, seeking information to take on the oil giant near its international headquarters.

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Shell faces possible Dutch lawsuit over Nigerian activist’s execution

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By Tom Bergin | LONDON

The widow of a Nigerian activist is planning to sue Royal Dutch Shell in the Dutch courts alleging the oil company was complicit in the execution of her husband by the Nigerian military in 1995, court documents filed in the United States last week show.

Esther Kiobel has filed an application in New York to secure documents from Shell’s U.S. lawyers, which she could use in the Dutch action.

The filings with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of New York said she planned to begin that action before the end of the year.

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Investors look beyond Big Oil’s worst quarter yet

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LONDON | BY KAROLIN SCHAPS AND RON BOUSSO: Sun Apr 24, 2016

The world’s top oil companies are set to report their worst quarterly results yet in the current downturn but a recent recovery in crude prices is raising hopes the market has bottomed out.

An ever intensifying oil supply glut took global prices to a near 13-year low of $27.10 a barrel on Jan. 20, exacerbating pressure on oil producers already grappling with a more than 70 percent slide in prices since mid-2014.

“The 1Q16 reporting period looks set to be even worse than what we thought was already an especially ugly 4Q15,” said Jason Gammel, equity analyst at Jefferies.

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