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ConocoPhillips goes after David Boies

Great news this AM: ConocoPhillips has sued PDVSA US Litigation Trust in New York. Only through this sort of litigation in the US can Venezuelans peek into the gargantuan corruption in PDVSA.

@conocophillips sues Bill Duker (Algamex), @bsfllp proxies (Swyer & Andrews), Alexis Arellano, @PDVSA, and the Litigation Trust in NY Southern District #popcorn

— alek boyd (@alekboyd) 9 July 2018

It was only a matter of time, really, for PDVSA creditors to start chasing Boies et al. While proceeds are nowhere near being obtained, that gig, whereby PDVSA basically gifted Boies, Duker and Brennan a whopping 66% of its claims, wasn't going to be left unchallenged.

ConocoPhillips accuses PDVSA of trying to escape its commitments through the Trust "with the actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud its creditors, including ConocoPhillips." This action is unlikely to be the last against PDVSA, considering Venezuela's $180+ billion outstanding obligations with creditors.

Elsewhere in PACER, we find that David Boies is getting very creative with his arguments. He claims State Doctrine re PDVSA US Litigation Trust duty to comply with discovery proceedings. Boies, presumably, brings this from his time involved in Argentina's fight against bondholders following default. It seems to have escaped him, that bondholders (tort claimants) bringing action against the Argentina Republic in U.S. courts, is not the same thing as the Venezuelan Republic (tort claimant) availing itself of U.S. courts to pursue alleged fraudulent behaviour.

In the first case, Argentina tried to evade its obligations by claiming that State-owned Argentine institutions that defaulted on bondholders were separate, and sort of independent, entities from the State, and therefore their actions could not be: a) pinned to Argentina, and b) challenged on the basis of legality of its actions under Argentine law (State Doctrine).

In the second case however, Boies would like PDVSA to evade its obligations to comply with discovery, arguing that questions to determine standing of PDVSA US Litigation Trust go against State Doctrine: i.e. its formation under Venezuelan law can not even be questioned in U.S. court.

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