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Chevron Ecuador Lawsuit News

Steven Donziger’s House Arrest Before Trial

The lawyer of Ecuadorean people affected by Texaco-Chevron --who have long sought compensation for pollution between the 1970s and early 1990s-- Steven Donziger, speaks during a press conference on March 19, 2014 in Quito. Earlier this month, a US judge upheld Chevron's allegations that an Ecuadoran court decision ordering it to pay $9.5 billion for oil pollution in the Amazon jungle was fraudulently obtained. Donziger announced they will appeal against this decision. AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO BUENDIA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images)

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.


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