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In a strongly worded opinion released Friday, federal district judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan elaborated on his reasons for allowing Chevron Corporation to depose Steven Donziger, the U.S. plaintiffs attorney in the massive environmental tort litigation against Chevron in Ecuador. Earlier this fall, Chevron had moved to depose Donziger, claiming that the trial in Ecuador had been tainted by fraud by the plaintiffs; in an October 20 order, Kaplan allowed additional discovery from Donziger. In Friday’s opinion, Kaplan concluded that “the need is extremely great” to depose Donziger. He based his decision on outtakes from a documentary on the litigation, Crude–footage that Chevron had subpoenaed and submitted in support of its fraud allegations.

FULL COVERAGE: Chevron in Ecuador

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