Lawyer accused of submitting fake news article isn’t sure whether judge signed $268K sanction order

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Lawyer accused of submitting fake news article isn’t sure whether judge signed $268K sanction order

A Seattle lawyer with Chung Malhas & Mantel represents the heirs of a Saudi sheikh. They claim that the Chevron Corp. owes them rent under an agreement signed 60 years ago by a predecessor company. Image from Shutterstock.

A Seattle lawyer is suggesting that a federal judge didn’t sign an order requiring him to pay more than $268,000 as a sanction for trying to file a fake “Saudi Sun” news article with a federal appeals court.

Lawyer Edward Chung of Seattle wrote in an Oct. 24 letter to U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White of the Northern District of California
that “we have reason to believe that this court order may not have [been] seen or signed by your honor.” Chung suggested that White’s orders were instead being signed by law clerks without the judge’s review.

Law360 has the story on Chung’s court filing in his quest to enforce an $18 billion arbitration award obtained against the Chevron Corp. in Egypt. The Chevron Corp. contends that the arbitration proceedings and the “purported” award were a sham.

Chung outlined his concerns in his letter filed with the Northern District of California.

“Please understand there has been so many profound oddities, threats and misrepresentations made in this case by Chevron and their counsels, we have good reason to believe it is necessary to assure the legitimacy of the court orders being executed,” Chung wrote.

White had ordered Chung to pay more than $251,000 in attorney fees and nearly $17,000 in interest in an Oct. 24 order. The order followed a determination by Judge A. Wallace Tashima of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco that the news article was an attempted fraud on the court.

Tashima was a special master in the case.

Chung, a lawyer with Chung Malhas & Mantel, represents the heirs of a Saudi sheikh. They claim that the Chevron Corp. owes them rent under an agreement signed 60 years ago by a predecessor company.

Chung said in a July 2021 motion he wanted to file the Saudi Sun article as a “supplemental exhibit” for “demonstrative purposes.” The article provided an informative summary of the events related to the arbitration proceedings, Chung said.

According to Law360, Tashima concluded that the article must have been written by Chung or someone working with him. The judge noted that the article contained at least five lengthy passages “taken almost verbatim” from Chung’s court filings.



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