By Dan Bacher
A federal appeals court in New York just threw out Judge Lewis A. Kaplan’s key contempt finding against human rights attorney Steven Donziger. The finding had been used to fine him millions of dollars in court costs and led to criminal contempt charges that resulted in an unprecedented 19-month house arrest without trial.
Donziger, who helped his Ecuadorian clients win a historic $9.5 billion pollution judgment against Chevron that has been validated by mulitple appellate courts in Ecuador and Canada, said: “While the decision today is not everything we wanted, it agrees with me on my core claim: that my work over the last five years raising funds for the Ecuadorian communities to pursue enforcement of their judgment against Chevron was appropriate, despite Judge Kaplan trying to claim it was illegal.”
“This is a huge blow to Chevron’s campaign to demonize me as a way to evade paying the Ecuador judgment which we expect to be fully enforced in due course,” stated Donziger.