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Lawyer in Megabucks Chevron Enviro Case Must Turn Over Hard Drive Mirror Images, Judge Rules

Posted Jan 27, 2011 4:18 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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After persuading a federal judge that a plaintiff's lawyer waived privilege by operating as a "political operative" in conjunction with the making of a documentary film, a corporate defendant in a megabucks South American environmental case has scored a follow-up victory.

Initially, based on the "political operative" finding, a federal judge ruled that attorney Steven Donziger must turn over documents that ordinarily would be considered privileged.

But now, because Donziger may not have turned over all of the material demanded in Chevron Corp.'s subpoenas, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan last week ordered him to provide mirror images of his computer hard drives, among other items, reports Courthouse News Service.

A spokeswoman for the plaintiffs says that Donziger has complied fully with the judge's directives and suggests that the ongoing effort to get more information from him in the Southern District of New York matter is simply harassment.

"Mr. Donziger has turned over the entire case file from this 17-year litigation, including thousands of documents and emails that normally is considered privileged," Karen Hinton wrote in an e-mail to Courthouse News. "He also sat for 11 days of depositions and testimony during which time he has been subject to tag-team questioning by four different lawyers."

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Doc Film Helped Chevron Subpoena Plaintiffs’ US Legal Files in $113B Ecuador Enviro Case"

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