Courts Suspend Trial Lawyer’s License Trying to Extort Billions From Chevron

by Tim Pearce


The D.C. Court of Appeals stripped Steven R. Donziger of his license to practice law in D.C. Sept. 14, leaving him unable to practice law anywhere in the U.S., Legal News Line reports.

Donziger led a lawsuit against the oil and gas company Chevron for allegedly causing environmental and social harm to the Amazon region of Ecuador.

Donziger previously lost his license to practice law in New York after the New York Supreme Court suspended it in July. He had only been licensed to practice law in New York and Washington, D.C., so he has effectively been banned from practicing law in the U.S., according to Legal News Line.

“Because Judge [Lewis A. Kaplan’s] findings constitute uncontroverted evidence of serious professional misconduct which immediately threatens the public interest, respondent should be immediately suspended,” the New York Appellate Division of the Supreme Court wrote in its decision to suspend Donziger, Legal News Line reported.

After an Ecuador court issued an $18 billion judgement against Chevron in February 2011, Donziger appeared that he would win the case.

The judgement was later reduced to $9.5 billion, then a U.S. district court in New York nullified the judgement due to fraudulent and illegal activities by Donziger, according to the district court ruling.

Donziger had set up a company in Gibraltar, Amazonia Recovery Ltd., to funnel funds through that he and others thought they would win from the Chevroncase. The Gibraltar court rendered judgment on Donziger’s associates and Amazonia while issuing a permanent injunction between them and the case, stopping them from participating any further.

The New York district court found that while Donziger had initiated the case with good intentions, he corrupted the process through telling half-truths, outright lies and using fake evidence and witnesses.

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Tim Pearce is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.  Follow Tim Pearce on Twitter.

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