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“Crude” Filmmaker Wins Reprieve — At Least Until July

A follow to my story last week on the subpoena facing “Crude” filmmaker Joe Berlinger.

Berlinger today won a major reprieve in his battle against Chevron, which is seeking some 600 hours of outtakes from his documentary “Crude” as part of a litigation battle the oil giant is waging over environmental damage in Ecuador.

Berlinger and his attorney, Maura Wogan of Frankfurt Kurnit, said that a three-member federal appellate court today granted them a stay until July, when there will be a full hearing on whether to uphold a lower court decision that ordered him to turn over the raw footage. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in early July.

“I am delighted that the appellate court seems to understand the significant public interest in my appeal being heard,” Berlinger said in a statement. “The stay that was granted today will allow us to argue the merits of our position before the court.”

Chevron spokesman Kent Robertson said in a statement: “We’re pleased that the Court recognizes the urgency of the matter. We’d asked for an expedited schedule and the Court has set one. We’ve seen instances of misconduct on the part of the plaintiffs’ lawyers and we remain confident that there are additional instances of fraud that remain concealed.”

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