This week, plaintiffs’ lawyer Steven Donziger was found guilty of six counts of criminal contempt of court, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The ruling is the latest twist in the decades-long legal battle between Donziger and Chevron.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska found Doniziger guilty on all six charges in a nearly 250-page order. She ruled that Donziger willfully disobeyed several court orders, including in his refusal to turn over his electronic devices to a forensic expert of Chevron’s, failure to relinquish his share of the Ecuadorean judgment, and failure to turn over his passport when ordered to do so.
“At stake here is the fundamental principle that a party to a legal action must abide by court orders or risk criminal sanctions, no matter how fervently he believes in the righteousness of his cause or how much he detests his adversary,” Judge Preska wrote.