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4 Sep 2020

Craig Clough, Law360

Second attorney ordered to keep representing Donziger despite plea to postpone September trial

"2nd Atty Ordered To Keep Representing Donziger", 3 September 2020.

A New York federal judge on Thursday ordered a second attorney for Chevron foe Steven Donziger to continue representing him for his upcoming trial, saying an email from the attorney, Martin Garbus, seeking to bail from acting as Donziger's counsel does not relieve him of his duties.

Garbus' email telling the judge he cannot act as counsel for Donziger followed attorney Andrew Frisch was recently added back to the defense team after telling U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska that there is simply no way he can represent Donziger because their relationship is "beyond repair."...But the judge's brief order Thursday in response to the email said that as "long as Mr. Garbus' notice of appearance on behalf of Mr. Donziger remains on the docket, he will receive [court] filings and is expected to conduct himself as an officer of the court on behalf of his client."...Garbus supported Frisch's move, and said Frisch's declaration "is consistent with what Mr. Donziger explained in open court last week — there are numerous significant conflicts that prevent Mr. Frisch from ethically representing him in this matter. These conflicts make the idea that Mr. Frisch could drop in and represent Mr. Donziger at a trial still scheduled for next week utterly absurd. ... Judge Preska should do the reasonable thing and postpone the trial until conditions allow it to be held consistent with the Constitution and public safety guidance."

Garbus also said Wednesday it was not fair that prosecution testimony was being allowed via video, while Judge Preska had earlier asked Donziger's lawyers to fly cross country during the pandemic.

In his Thursday email to the court, Garbus said that since March he has been in Truro, Massachusetts, where he intends to stay "for the foreseeable future."

"I will not endanger myself, or render Mr. Donziger legal services that I deem constitionally [sic] defective and I will not and cannot participate in any trial where I am not in New York," he added....

Read more at: https://www.law360.com/legalethics/articles/1307414/2nd-atty-ordered-to-keep-representing-donziger-?nl_pk=8200a116-4e38-41b8-87e5-588ddf902ad2&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=legalethics&read_more=1&attachments=true?copied=1