Steven Donziger knew pursuing a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Chevron-Texaco wouldn’t be easy. A Harvard Law grad and former Washington, D.C., public defender, Donziger is the lead U.S. lawyer for 30,000 Ecuadoreans who claim oil drilling by Texaco (now owned by Chevron) polluted portions of the country’s Amazon Basin, contaminating the soil and water sources where they live.

The lawsuit, filed in 1993, has had many complicated twists. Most recently, the Ecuadorean trial judge recused himself last week after Chevron released videotapes that allegedly implicate him in a bribery scheme. The oil company claims the videos show Judge Juan Nunez declaring Chevron’s guilt, even though he has not yet issued a public ruling.

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