Civil Liberties Defense Center to Represent Environmental and Human Rights Lawyer Steven Donziger

Amazon Watch

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Ada Recinos at +1.510.473.7542 or

Oakland, CA – On May 15, 2020, CLDC’s Executive Director and Senior Staff Attorney, Lauren Regan, officially joined Steven Donziger’s legal team as a lead trial attorney. In addition to Regan and former New York federal prosecutor Andrew Frisch, the team now includes nationally known trial lawyers Richard Freidman (WA), Zoe Littlepage (TX), and Aaron Marr Page (DC). Donziger, an environmental and human rights lawyer, dared to take on Chevron for its egregious environmental destruction of the Ecuadorian Amazon on behalf of Indigenous peoples and local communities, and in response, Chevron vowed to destroy him.

After an immense legal battle – twenty long years – with the multinational fossil fuel giant, Donziger was successful in helping the Indigenous people of the region win a massive $9.5 billion judgment. This is the largest known amount in damages in an environmental case from a trial. The funds were awarded to remediate decades of toxic contamination of the region’s waterways, which caused cancer and a host of other serious health problems. Unfortunately, these problems continue to this day, as Chevron continues to pollute the Ecuadorian Amazon with impunity, and has not paid a dime toward the court-ordered cleanup. The judgment against Chevron has been affirmed in whole or in part by at least six appellate courts in the countries of Ecuador, Canada, and the United States, and efforts to enforce the ruling continue.

“This case is not just about attorney Steven Donziger,” said CLDC Attorney Regan. This is clearly a test case put forth by one of the largest multinational fossil fuel corporations in the world to intimidate and chill other lawyers from bringing environmental lawsuits against the industry responsible for exacerbating catastrophic global climate change. This is the fossil fuel industry again using its obscene monetary power to try and prevent litigants from accessing skilled lawyers to seek justice from the Courts and legal system. An attack on one is an attack on all. Public interest lawyers and allies around the world are paying close attention to this extremely perverse miscarriage of justice and will stand in solidarity with Attorney Donziger. You can bet the fossil fuel industry is watching as well, and if this is a tactic that they see working to their benefit, you will see more public interest lawyers targeted in this way.”

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