Rightfully, given lead “Lago Agrio Plaintiffs” lawyer Steven Donziger worked for them, the law firm of Kohn, Swift & Graf was ordered to turn over all documents to Chevron lawyers in the Chevron Ecuador case. The bet in this space is that Chevron’s going to make hay with what they find.
According to Law.com, “Southern District Magistrate Judge James C. Francis ruled that attorneys Laura Garr, Andrew Woods, Joseph C. Kohn and his firm, Kohn, Swift & Graf, who are not defendants in the racketeering case, failed to make a showing that the documents are shielded by the attorney-client privilege and the work-product doctrine.”
Steven Donziger has worked with the Philadelphia law firm for years, and it was widely known that the organization was, for a time, bankrolling Donziger’s activities, looking for a big payday.
Now, Kohn, Swift & Graf is about to getting mud on them from his work.
In the movie Crude, Joseph C. Kohn said, “it was not taken as a pro bono case, you know, a lot of my motivation is, at the end of the day – it will be a lucrative case for the firm.”
Chevron has sued both Steven Donziger and the Lago Agrio plaintiffs in the New York Southern District for racketeering for allegedly skirting the Ecuadoran judicial process to win the $18 billion judgment and to extort a final settlement from the American oil giant. This is a major step in proving that Donziger’s whole case was a sham.
Donziger clearly has no friends among the judges in the New York Southern District. The basketball-loving lawyer is trying to have Southern District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan removed from the case because Kaplan blocked the plaintiffs from seeking enforcement of the judgment anywhere in the world, then he added a preliminary injunction. – and given recent events, it looks like Steven’s effort will eventually be slam-dunked in his face.
Donziger has long said he expected to be a billionaire from this case, and his actions, from charges of writing reports for the Ecuadorian scientists who were said to be looking at environmental conditions in the Lago Agrio region, to his talk of intimidating judges, and other actions that point to a fraudulently obtained $18 billion judgement, the walls are closing in on Donziger.
Here’s my video on his efforts made in 2008: