USA/Ecuador: Lawyer who battled Chevron may get chance to defend himself

November 16, 2018

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A New York attorney who won a landmark oil pollution judgment against Chevron in Ecuador’s court system only to have his law license suspended at home for malpractice never got a fair hearing and should be allowed to defend himself against disbarment, a legal referee has ruled.

The decision involves Steven Donziger, who led a legal team representing Ecuadoreans trying to get Chevron to pay for environmental damage caused to a rainforest by Texaco during its operation of an oil consortium from 1972 to 1990.

The legal campaign begun in 1993 was ultimately successful in Ecuador. A court there ordered Chevron to pay $9.5 billion. But in 2014, a judge in New York, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, invalidated the Ecuador judgment, deeming it was obtained through legal malpractice.

In July, a New York State appeals court suspended Donziger without a hearing based on Kaplan’s ruling that the attorney’s Ecuador team submitted bogus evidence, ghostwrote a court-appointed expert’s report and promised the judge who ultimately ruled a $500,000 bribe.

Donziger fought those findings, saying they were built on fraudulent testimony obtained through Chevron’s bribing of witnesses.

A court-appointed referee, John R. Horan, ruled on Nov. 8 that Donziger deserves a hearing to defend himself. He also questioned whether Kaplan violated Donziger’s constitutional right to due process.

Kaplan effectively “created a criminal indictment” and tried Donziger for conspiracy, Horan said.

https://www.dailyherald.com/article/20181116/news/311169809

http://www.tribtown.com/2018/11/16/us-chevron-ecuador-lawyer/

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/41554-Musician-Roger-Waters-In-Ecuador-To-Support-Amazon-Peoples-Who-Won-Landmark-Judgment-Against-Chevron

https://www.stl.news/tag/law-license-suspended/

https://www.stl.news/tag/attorney-steven-donziger/

http://stevendonziger.com/

https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2018/11/16/nota/7054437/eeuu-arbitro-falla-favor-abogado-antichevron (ESPANOL)

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