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Doug Cassel's letter
1. Mr. Donziger is not a “Lawyer”: The announcement refers to Mr. Donziger as a lawyer. In fact, he has been disbarred in New York and suspended from practice in the District of Columbia -- the only two jurisdictions where he was admitted. The disbarment was ordered by a unanimous panel of five appellate judges, based on his “egregious professional misconduct, namely, corruption of a court expert and ghostwriting his report, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and judicial coercion and bribery” in the Ecuadorian litigation.1 It is unlawful and unethical for a person who has been disbarred or suspended to use the title of lawyer or to hold himself out as entitled to practice law.
2. Judicial Findings of Misconduct: The announcement asserts that Chevron obtained a decision from a “first-level U.S. trial judge in a non-jury trial that the case in Ecuador was procured by fraud.” In fact, through hundreds of pages of a detailed opinion by a respected federal judge,3 the court found that, in procuring the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron and covering up his misconduct, Mr. Donziger engaged in fraud, bribery, racketeering, extortion, witness tampering, money laundering, wire fraud, corruption and obstruction of justice. The court found: “The wrongful actions of Donziger and his Ecuadorian legal team would be offensive to the laws of any nation that aspires to the rule of law – and they knew it.”
3. Judicial Appeals Confirmed the Misconduct: Mr. Donziger had the right to appeal the trial court’s findings of fact concerning his misconduct. However, he deliberately chose not to do so – a wise course since the evidence against him was so clear. He appealed instead – unsuccessfully -- on legal grounds. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the trial court’s judgment.6 In an opinion of more than 100 pages by Judge Amalya Kearse, who was appointed to the bench by President Carter, Both the full Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court declined review.
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