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Steven Donziger talking to his supporters demonstrating on the street outside his apartment calling to "Free Steven" on his 500th day in house arrest in Manhattan, New York on December 18, 2020. Photo: Ryland West/ALM Steven Donziger talking to his supporters on the street outside his apartment who are calling to “Free Steven” on his 500th day in house arrest in Manhattan, New York, on Dec. 18, 2020. Photo: Ryland West/ALM

Students from 52 law schools, including Stanford, Yale, Harvard and NYU, are boycotting Seward & Kissel’s recruiting process because of the firm’s role in prosecuting embattled lawyer Steven Donziger for criminal contempt of court.

A letter issued to the Seward firm’s partnership and initially signed by 233 students argues, as has Donziger’s legal team, that Seward has a conflict of interest that should bar it from serving as the government-appointed special prosecutor in Donziger’s high-profile criminal case. Specifically, the students argue that human rights lawyer Donziger helped Indigenous Ecuadorians win an $8.6 billion judgment in Ecuador’s high court against Chevron based on oil damage allegedly strewn across an Indigenous swath of the Amazon jungle; Donziger’s role in securing the judgment has led indirectly, and wrongly, to him now facing up to six months in prison on U.S. contempt-of-court charges; and the 157-lawyer Seward firm has represented Chevron in multiple unrelated matters, making it a conflicted judge-appointed prosecutor that must step down.

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Jason Grant

Jason Grant is a staff writer covering legal stories and cases for the New York Law Journal, the National Law Journal and Law.com, and a former practicing attorney. He's written and reported previously for the New York Times, the Star-Ledger, the L.A. Times and other publications. Contact him at [email protected] On Twitter, pls find him @JasonBarrGrant

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