Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Steve Donziger, Founder and Partner at Donziger & Associates

With the release this month of the movie, Crude Impact, I was brought back full circle to the start of my legal career, when I worked as a paralegal for a D.C.-based plaintiff's law firm and played a minor role researching a case against Texaco for contaminating the Amazon rain forest of Ecuador with numerous leaking oil waste pits. This work was a motivator that led me to law school, but I had largely left the case outside my peripheral vision since the early 1990s. Steve Donziger did not.

As the founder of his law firm in New York, Donziger & Associates, he has doggedly pursued Texaco (now Chevron) in courts both in New York and in Ecuador for almost two decades. He is now assisting on the $27 Billion lawsuit against the company for massive oil contamination in the Amazon rain forest of Ecuador. Thirty thousand people are suing over this legacy of toxic pollution that has damaged the ecosystem and so many human lives.

For a sneak preview of Crude Impact, check out the trailer.

For a more in-depth understanding of what's at stake, watch the 60 Minutes expose.