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31 Aug 2020

Cara Salvatore, Law360

Judge disqualifies two of Donziger's lawyers for September trial

Shutterstock (purchased)

"Judge Disqualifies 2 Of Donziger's Lawyers For Sept. Trial", 28 August 2020.

At a hearing Thursday, Judge Preska advised Donziger that two of his lawyers, Richard Friedman and Zoe Littlepage, may have potential conflicts relating to their 2014 correspondence in Chevron's underlying civil RICO suit against Donziger since the correspondence could be evidence in the upcoming trial. Though Judge Preska told Donziger he could choose to waive the conflict, Donziger chose not to...

A panel of prominent lawyers has formed a monitoring committee for the trial, saying on Aug. 17 that Donziger is "facing a campaign of retaliation for his courageous work for victims of human rights abuse," per committee member Michael Tigar, former chair of the American Bar Association's Litigation Section. The group is concerned that Chevron's efforts against Donziger will end up "giving the corporate world a successful template for crushing human rights opposition and stamping out efforts of victimized communities seeking access to legal remedy."

Donziger told Law360 on Friday that the trial, if it goes forward, will be immediately followed by a Second Circuit argument set for Sept. 15 in a different but closely related case over the civil contempt findings by Judge Kaplan...

Donziger was recently disbarred in New York state, against the recommendation of a neutral referee, and is suspended in Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, Donziger has also asked Judge Preska, who has been planning a bench trial, to hold a jury trial. The contempt charges against him are not "petty," he said, and are not subject to any exceptions applying to the constitutional right to a trial by jury...Donziger has said that Judge Kaplan "hand selected" a law firm with ties to Chevron to press the contempt charges and has petitioned the Second Circuit for a writ of mandamus regarding the propriety of the Seward & Kissel team's role.

Read more at: https://www.law360.com/newyork/articles/1305443/judge-disqualifies-2-of-donziger-s-lawyers-for-sept-trial?copied=1