Fake News?

A story about alleged fake news has made its way around a number of legal circles. According to the American Bar Association Journal, an attorney representing the an heir to the Saudi sheikh is currently battling Chevron Corporation over a 60-year old agreement and a purported $18 billion dollar arbitration award in Egypt (claimed to be a sham by Chevron). In the U.S. case against Chevron, the attorney attempted to submit news article that contained a summary of the events related to the arbitration proceeding. Well, turns out that article was found to be fake.

It was fake?

The District Court and 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals explained that the article must have been written by the attorney or someone working for them. Importantly, the 9th Circuit noted that the article contained at least five lengthy passes “taken almost verbatim” from the attorney’s filings.

As a result of this finding, the District Court sanctioned the lawyer ($268,000). Here is where things take a twist. The attorney is now suggesting that the sanctions order was not signed or reviewed by the judge and has asked for investigation into Chevron for alleged misconduct.

The verdict:

I think it goes without saying that you should not file anything with the court that is fake or fraudulent (unless that is the reason you are filing it). Especially in a case where a purposed $18 billion dollars are at stake.

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