Hollywood Screenwriters Couldn’t Make This Story Up

For sheer TV-drama level civil court action, albeit on the installment plan, you can’t get much better than the multi-billion-dollar slugfest between San Ramon-based Chevron Corp. and a New York attorney that’s playing out in New York this month. At issue is a roughly $19 billion 2011 judgement from an Ecuadoran court against Chevron. 
But this case is not an appeal or even a lawsuit against Chevron. It is actually against the attorney who spearheaded the Ecuadoran case, Steven Donziger. The oil company is suing Donziger under federal laws for, in effect, conspiring to commit fraud. The trial has been going on for weeks, featuring an array of admittedly corrupt judges, outtakes from the documentary film “Crude” that are an entire case in themselves and some of the nation’s most powerful law firms.
Donziger has denied all the allegations. The trial is a real peak into how big-time civil cases are financed and how at least one case had enough intrigue for Hollywood. And, yes, there are already films in the works. Get started with a story about how a respected Philly firm rolled into the scandal here.

HuffPo Blogger Hits L.A. Courts Pretty Hard

Editor’s Note: The CCM will not be updated Monday due to the Labor Day holiday. See you Tuesday!
Writer Steve Bevilacqua is not too happy with the L.A. courts and much prefers the no-frills justice handed out by Judge Judy. In a Huffington Post blog, he first wonders “… is a Hollywood soundstage the best place to find true justice in Los Angeles? Based on my legal experience, both real and televised, the answer is a resounding yes.” Then he writes that “… our court system is in the hands of self-serving clowns who care about nothing more than their own performance record. Looking at history, I suppose this isn’t anything new, but in this age of access and information, maybe it’s time the courts tried a little harder to fulfill their original purpose of setting things right.”
After outlining his ongoing legal battles stemming from getting hit by a car, he adds that “amazingly enough, in one extremely loud afternoon, my fiasco was set right by the modern-day Solomon known as Judge Judy. The actual court system spent months squeezing every technicality in their agonized efforts to send me to prison at the expense of the obvious truth. Judge Judy was direct and ferociously sensible.”
It’s a compelling story, but you wonder if he knows the small claims court in Santa Monica, which was the basis for all those People’s Court shows,  actually just closed?