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Steven Donziger’s House Arrest Before Trial

Date: Mar 30, 2021

The Second Circuit refused Friday to overturn rulings keeping Chevron foe Steven Donziger in home confinement while he awaits a May trial, rejecting his arguments that he’s not a flight risk since he’s been home for over a year over a contempt charge that has a maximum six-month sentence.

On appeal, Donziger had argued that the trial court erred in assessing his flight risk, because it’s implausible that he would jump bail and risk committing a felony that has a maximum sentence that is 10 times the sentence he may face if he’s convicted on the misdemeanor charge a special prosecutor lobbed at him.

In a six-page summary opinion Friday, a three-judge panel acknowledged that Donziger’s argument “gives us some pause.” But the panel noted that the trial judge considered Donziger’s potential maximum prison sentence in assessing his flight risk, as well as his purported “history of violating court orders” and “his strong ties and extensive travel to Ecuador,” and therefore there’s no evidence the judge clearly erred in requiring him to stay home.

To read the full story on Law 360, click here.