Chevron is scheduled to begin a racketeering trial against New York attorney Steven Donziger on Tuesday, including potentially devastating new evidence from a lawyer who quit in disgust after discovering the tactics Donziger used to win an $18 billion verdict in Ecuador.
Jeffrey Shinder, an antitrust lawyer with Constantine Cannon better known for his multibillion-dollar settlements with credit-card companies, is likely to testify about how he felt “physically ill” after learning that consultants hired by Donziger had largely written a report an Ecuador judge relied upon to assess damages in the environmental suit.
In a June deposition, Shinder said he was “deeply disturbed” by Donziger’s involvement in what was supposed to be an independent report on pollution damage in the jungles of Ecuador, and immediately removed himself from the case.
“If you have an independent expert who is being proffered to justify a significant, you know, damage finding against a major corporation,” Shinder said under questioning from Chevron’s lawyers, “if his independence is compromised in a way — in a way that was, you know, not disclosed, not transparent I think that’s per se improper. That was my own subjective view of it. It was not a close call.”