NYC appeals court puts Chevron lawyer on defensive

By the Associated Press | September 16, 2011 | 1:00 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. appeals court is skeptical about Chevron's efforts to get out of an $18 billion Ecuadorean judgment for rainforest contamination.

A three-judge panel for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan heard the case on Friday.

The judges put a Chevron lawyer on the defensive during oral arguments.

They questioned why a New York court should be able to block enforcement of another country's court judgment.

The Ecuadorean plaintiffs who won the judgment are trying to stop a November trial to decide whether it was obtained fairly.

Chevron says lawyers for the plaintiffs manipulated a corrupt legal system in Ecuador.