I’ve unique the civil contempt of court docket movement against Steven Donziger in previous columns. So it is very captivating to read United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan’s first-rate, 75-page, contempt of court docket ruling. It starts with those words: “Steven Donziger, formerly an attorney, has led a corrupt attempt to extort billions of greenbacks from Chevron Corporation.”
After that devastating creation, matters best were given worse. Donziger, whose “corrupt effort” has been defined on this column, is now in contempt of court for blatantly and willfully violating Judge Kaplan’s orders. Those orders enjoined Donziger from continuing to personally make the most of what Judge Kaplan termed “the fraudulent procurement of a multi-billion judgment from a provincial court in Ecuador (the “Ecuador Judgment”).”
Here’s the link to Judge Kaplan’s complete contempt choice. In it the choose info Donziger’s persevering with receipt (to the tune of over $1 million for the reason that issuance of the injunction) of moneys in go back for “shares” of the Ecuador judgment, the enforcement of which has been obstructed in every united states of America in which Donziger has tried to gather. [Proceedings are ongoing in the Ontario, where in any case Chevron has no assets. I am certain that this abuse of the Canadian province’s judicial system will prove futile.]
Donziger is now not a lawyer, Judge Kaplan referred to. He has been suspended from the exercise of regulation within the State of New York, (see Matter of Donziger, 163 A.D.3d 123, 80 N.Y.S.3d 269 (1st Dept. 2018), in the District of Columbia (see Matter of Donziger, No. 18-BG-967 (D.C. App. Filed Sept. 20, 2018) [DI 2091-68, 2091-69], and inside the Southern District of New York. I realize of no other jurisdiction where he’s authorized to exercise law. As a non-attorney, he can handiest represent himself. Thus, he may now not constitute Donziger & Associates, PLLC (his former regulation company) or some other individual or entity who partnered with him inside the Ecuadorean scheme.
Donziger is completed, and the truth that some credulous folks persisted to develop him budget in reliance on the corrupt Ecuadorean judgment confirms P.T. Barnum’s ageless adage. In any case, Donziger must now purge his contempt via remitting all price range he has received with recognize to the Ecuadorean healthy to Chevron. If he does no longer do so by using May 28, Donziger can be subject to different sanctions (crook contempt?) similarly to “a coercive civil exceptional [payable] to the Clerk of Court.” The first-rate will “begin at $2,000 for May 28, 2019, and shall double for each subsequent day all through which Donziger fails completely to purge himself of this contempt.” Check out the factorial table for two and you may get an idea of Donziger’s exposure. And there’s no guarantee that humans related to Donziger, which includes his wife (to whom Donziger at once transferred enormous sums), are not themselves in extreme prison jeopardy.
Michael Krauss is Professor of Law on the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University and is a nationally regarded student of Tort Law and Legal Ethics. His domestic page is here.
Technology puts the arena at our fingertips—with a click on and a swipe, we will have a pizza added, e-book a flight to Japan, or maybe find a date. But the manner we paintings seems stuck in a time warp. In the office, we deal with clunky, complicated tactics that frustrate and demotivate personnel. And dissatisfied, unmotivated humans surely don’t convey their first-class to the commercial enterprise. The era we come upon at work has to capture up with the actual world for organizations to thrive.