A legal referee says a New York attorney who won a landmark oil pollution judgment against Chevron in Ecuador only to have his law license suspended at home should not be disbarred without a chance to defend himself.
The decision involves Steven Donziger, who persuaded a court in Ecuador to order Chevron to pay $9.5 billion for environmental damage in a rainforest.
That judgment was later invalidated by a judge in New York, who said it was obtained through malpractice.
The U.S. judge says Donziger tampered with witnesses and tried to bribe a judge.
But the referee says in a Nov. 8 decision that Donziger was effectively put on trial without a jury.
He set a hearing for the lawyer to defend himself.
State attorneys opposing Donziger want it cancelled.
Frank Bajak, The Associated Press