The Second Circuit on Tuesday denied disbarred human rights lawyer Steven Donziger’s request for bail while he appeals his six-month prison sentence for contempt stemming from a lengthy legal fight with Chevron.
The one-page order came just hours after oral arguments in Donziger’s appeal. While denying Donziger’s bail request, the panel expedited the challenge to his July conviction for disobeying court orders in Chevron’s civil case over a $9 billion oil pollution judgment in Ecuador.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska sentenced Donziger to prison on Oct. 1 and found him too much of a flight risk for bail, citing her 2019 decision to place the disbarred human rights lawyer under home confinement due to his previous refusal to comply with court orders and his deep ties to Ecuador.
Steve Vladeck, a prominent University of Texas School of Law constitutional law professor, told a Second Circuit panel Tuesday morning that Judge Preska offered no plausible explanation why continued house arrest, rather than prison, wouldn’t be sufficient to keep Donziger from fleeing during the appeals process.
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