As readers of this column recognize, in May 2019 Steven Donziger and his regulation firm had been located in contempt of court docket and Chevron become awarded affordable legal professionals’ prices against them. His regulation firm (basically defunct now that Donziger has been suspended from the practice of regulation in all jurisdictions where, to our expertise, he became licensed to exercise) did now not contest the contempt holding.
Donziger himself did contest the retaining, however, his challenge has been deemed each “frivolous and misleading” by using United States District Judge Kaplan. And today, a ruling became exceeded down by Judge Kaplan granting Chevron’s legal professionals’ prices movement in all respects, ordering that a cash judgment be entered into in want of Chevron in the amount of $3.4 million — the whole amount Chevron had sought. This is in addition to two present cash judgments already entered in want of Chevron and in opposition to Donziger earlier this yr, for about $800K and $666K respectively, and further to the contempt fines payable immediately to the Court which overall someplace between $3 million and $6 million relying on how they are calculated.
If I had been a felony journalist, I might track down Mr. Donziger’s felony ethics professor at Harvard. I would ask that professor what he or she thinks of his or her former pupil. Harvard might want to create a seminar about the Lago Agrio case. Note to HLS’s Associate Dean: I might be overjoyed to educate that seminar. It would be a tremendous case observe how now not to practice law.
On May 23, 2019, the Court granted in complete or in component 4 motions by means of Chevron Corporation (“Chevron”) to maintain Steven Donziger and Donziger & Associates, PLLC in civil contempt and determined that at the least some of those contempts have been wilful and ruled that Chevron become entitled to get better affordable lawyers’ charges in prosecuting those applications. DI 2209, at sixty nine-seventy one & ,r four. The same order stated that any application for legal professionals’ expenses was to be filed on or before June 18, 2019. Id. At sixty-nine. On June 18, 2019, Chevron timely filed this application for attorneys’ prices pursuant to the May 23, 2019 choice. DI 2243.
Danziger & Associates, PLLC, which has been unrepresented right here as a minimum due to the fact Steven Donziger become suspended from the exercise of law, has now not antagonistic the motion. Donziger himself opposes it at the ground that it’s miles untimely. Donziger’s argument is each frivolous and deceptive.
Danziger contends that the motion is untimely because:
“Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule fifty-four (d)(2)(B) states that ‘[u]nless a statute or a court order affords in any other case, [a claim for attorney’s fees] have to … Be filed no later than 14 days after the access of judgment.’ A ‘judgment’ is defined to ‘encompass[ ]a decree and any order from which an enchantment lies.’ Fed. R. Civ. P. Fifty-four (a). The Court issued its final opinion and order at the contempt motions on May 23, 2019 (‘Contempt Decision’), and the clerk finally entered the brand new supplemental money judgment related to the order on May 24, 2019. Nothing within the Contempt Decision furnished any opportunity deadline. Thus, any legal professional’s rate motion becomes due June 6, 2019, or on the modern June 7, 2019. Chevron overlooked to report its motion unti1 June 18, 2019- nearly two times the time allowed underneath the policies. It has forfeited any declare to charges concerning the Contempt Decision.”1
Nowhere does he well known that the Court’s May 23 order, as expressly approved by the Fed. R. Civ. P. Fifty-four (d)(2)(B), particularly and unequivocally constant June 18 as the date by using which Chevron’s movement had to be filed. Thus, his timeliness argument is complete without advantage.
I actually have taken into consideration Donziger’s different submissions. All are without advantage. Indeed, he has now not made an severe attempt to address the deserves of Chevron’s motion. He does no longer, as an instance, undertaking the reasonableness of the hourly fees charged or, beyond his use of pejorative and conclusory adjectives, deal with the reasonableness of the services done or the time devoted to offering them. As a review the chronology provided with the aid of Chevron [DI 2245-2] demonstrates, Donziger’s intransigence is without delay accountable for the massive efforts Chevron became compelled to adopt to get at the pertinent facts. The Court finds that the fees charged, the services carried out, and the time committed to the one’s offerings have been affordable.
Accordingly, Chevron’s movement [DI 2243] is granted in all respects. The Clerk shall enter a supplemental judgment awarding to Chevron and against Donziger and Donziger & Associates, PLLC, mutually and severally, the sum of $3,433,384.30 as reasonable legal professionals’ fees incurred.