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Dewey & LeBoeuf case could go to a retrial after jury fails to reach verdict

While acting Supreme Court Justice Robert Stolz has declared the criminal proceedings against the former executives of now defunct firm Dewey & LeBoeuf a mistrial after three weeks of jury deliberations, the case may now be headed for a retrial.

The three defendants, former Dewey chairman Steven Davis, executive director Stephen DiCarmine and chief financial officer Joel Sanders were charged with crimes including several counts of grand larceny and scheme to defraud. The trio would have each faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted on the charge of grand larceny.

However yesterday the jury said they could not reach a unanimous decision and were ‘hopelessly deadlocked’. Justice Stolz, offering the jury further instruction on the law, dismissed the jurors after they said it wouldn’t help them come to a decision.

He added: ‘You have played your part in one of the central institutions of democracy. This is no small thing.’

A statement from New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance said the jury’s inability to reach a verdict may necessitate a retrial, pending a thorough review of the case.

‘We continue to believe in the strength of the evidence and that the defendants’ actions broke state law,’ Vance said.

The trial had been ongoing for four months and earlier this month the jury found the executives not guilty on many other criminal charges, with a partial verdict acquitting all three charges of falsifying business records –with former chair Davis not guilty on 19 counts; ex-executive director DiCarmine not guilty on 17 counts; and former chief financial officer Sanders not guilty on 13 counts.

The long-awaited trial saw the prosecution allege the trio internationally inflated revenue at Dewey, which at its peak housed around 1,450 lawyers, and used accounting tricks to comply with covenants over its debt arrangements. Unveiled in March last year following a two year investigation, they constituted the first criminal charges following Dewey’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012 after its ill-fated 2007 merger between Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae.

Representing the defendants is Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello lawyer Elkan Abramowitz for Davis; Bryan Cave partner Austin Campriello for DiCarmine; and Andrew Frisch, who runs his own New York boutique, for Sanders, who at the beginning of the trial was represented by Hughes Hubbard and Reed securities litigation co-chair Edward Little.