This really undermines my faith in these federal judges. Is there a reason Donzinger had such a massive target on his back? The fact that 6 other judges acted to have him disbarred makes me think Kaplan's allegiance to Chevron might not have been the only factor at play.
I don't think I have many or any doubts. I'm curious to learn a little more about what Danziger is accused of doing, but whatever it is, I have a sneak suspicion that Chevron and Gibson Dunn have engaged in far more reprehensible/RICO-like behavior.
What can be done to ensure that the Ecuadorians receive justice? It's clear that Chevron/Texaco have made egregious environmental damages and that the people of Ecuador should be compensated not just for their suffering but in order to clean up the environmental degradation these companies caused. It seems that because of the claims against Donzinger people lose sight of the fact that the Ecuadorian court still hasn't been able to enforce its judgment and that there is no possibility for a U.S. court other than Kaplan to hear this case.
What did Donziger say on those tapes that was so bad that it looked like he had bribed someone? Is it out of the question that he did? What is the view of the Indigenous People he was representing on this matter? Did they consider him a good and fair advocate? Whose benefit was he fighting for?
I would like to hear more about Kaplan's findings, the evidence he points to in support of those findings, and Donziger's defenses/evidence to the contrary. If credible evidence was brought forward to support the assertion Donziger bribed a judge/wrote a ghost opinion, and Donziger had a chance to litigate those issues and appeal the decision, I am not all that concerned with his present inability to contest Kaplan's findings in his disciplinary hearing.
I absolutely believe that a federal judge can be corrupt in this way, especially in favor of a large corporation like Chevron. I would be interested to learn more about this case and how it has all played out. To the point about bribes, even if true I would be shocked if there hadn't been bribes on the other side that allowed Chevron to operate the way that it did for so long. At least in Donziger's case it is the people who were harmed who would benefit.
Although I am more inclined to believe Danzinger., I must ask the questions (1) was there proof of the ghost writing or bribery?, and, relatedly (2) was there any subsequent agreement to Kaplan's findings? If yes, then I think the question is mute. But if there is any room for doubt then this presents a broader issue of the judiciary being used to fuel political and corporate wills
How did Chevron deal with the backlash to the story? What evidence of bribery was there? Is the collateral estoppel procedure during disbarment proceedings common? Does the Chevron team believes that what they are doing is right?
It's very hard to see how any of this is in the interest of justice. This really makes you question whether any of the ethics rules we learn about in legal profession matter at all - how could something like this if that was the case? I wonder how ethics rules could be re-shaped to prevent this kind of action, but I'm not sure it's possible
I'm curious about what information actually came out of Donziger's files after Judge Kaplan ordered that he open them to Chevron. I feel like I know very little about the actual allegations that underly Chevron's RICO claim against Donziger. It seems very likely that it was a revenge-claim, but I'm not in a position to assess its merits yet. Also, why was Donziger's attorney-client privilege waived?? It seems that he relied on the privilege in order to keep correspondence that he otherwise would not have kept or created. How common is it for a judge to find such a waiver to such an important privilege? Greenpeace is an advocacy organization, of course, and I read its statement with a circumspect mindset that befits reading an advocacy statement. I'd like to see the original evidence against Donziger.
Two questions came to mind as I read the Weyler piece: (1) first, I wonder whether any of Justice Kaplan's decisions rendered in the "marathon of preliminaries" were appealed against and, if not, why not; and (2) second, was an application made for Justice Kaplan to recuse himself on the grounds of apparent, if not actual, bias and if not, why not.