Chevron v Steven Donziger - United States District Court Southern District of New York Case No 11-Civ-0691-LAK - Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law - 26 July 2021
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW: The Court does not question the sincerity of Mr. Donziger's espousal of his clients' cause. Nor does it quarrel with the sincerity of his belief that he has been treated unfairly by Chevron. But "a lawyer, of all people, should know that in the face of a perceived injustice, one may not take the law into his own hands." By repeatedly and willfully defying Judge Kaplan's orders, that is precisely what Mr. Donziger did. It's time to pay the piper. Because the Special Prosecutors have proven each element of criminal contempt of a court order beyond a reasonable doubt, the Court finds and renders a verdict of GUILTY on each of the six counts of criminal contempt charged in the Order to Show Cause. In addition, Mr. Donziger's two post-trial letter motions seeking dismissal of the criminal contempt charges [dkt. nos. 324 & 330] are DENIED. Contrary to Mr. Donziger's assertion that his convictio n was "pre-ordained," the Court finds him guilty on each count for one reason and one reason only: Mr. Donziger did that with which he is charged. Period. The parties shall confer and indicate their views, by joint letter, regarding: (1) a briefing schedule for any sentencing related submissions; and (2) counsel's availability for sentencing in this matter. That letter shall be filed no later than three business days from the date of this order's entry. In conferring, the parties should keep in mind Mr. Donziger's repeated requests to be released from pre-trial home confinement, although the length of the pre-trial proceedings was prolonged almost exclusively by Mr. Donziger's requests for trial adjournments. This opinion is being issued one week after the conclusion of all post-trial briefing on counsel's agreed-upon schedule. SO ORDERED.