Rajaratnam Lawyer Dowd Tells War Stories, Plans Cape Cod Trip

Raj Rajaratnam's Attorney John Dowd
Raj Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group LLC co-founder accused of insider trading, left, arrives with his attorney, John Dowd, at federal court in New York on April 28, 2011. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

After about 18 months preparing to defend Galleon Group LLC’s Raj Rajaratnam at his federal insider-trading trial in Manhattan, attorney John Dowd said he could use a vacation.

Dowd, who spent a fourth day yesterday waiting for jurors to deliver a verdict in the case, said he hasn’t gotten much sleep lately and plans to take a trip to Cape Cod in Massachusetts when the trial’s over.

“You don’t sleep,” said Dowd, chatting with a group of reporters in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell. “It will take me six months to recover from this.”

Dowd spoke after approaching a group of reporters talking with Assistant U.S. Attorney Reed Brodsky, one of the prosecutors in the case. Reporters, lawyers and trial observers spent yesterday along with Rajaratnam waiting for a verdict, which could come at any time.

Dowd told reporters he has been working non-stop on the Rajaratnam case for the past 10 months. The defense team has about 10 people in the courthouse with another 14 outside, he said.

“Raj was a huge resource” in preparing the defense, Dowd said, providing details of the transactions in the government’s charges against him. “He knew it.”

Dowd said he didn’t have his client testify during the trial because he didn’t want to give prosecutors the opportunity to try to reinforce their points on cross-examination.

Not Giving ‘Oxygen’

“There’s no sense giving these guys any oxygen to retry their case,” he said.

Dowd declined to discuss other aspects of the case or to speculate on what jurors were thinking. He said the Rajaratnam legal team is set up at a hotel in lower Manhattan, where three other teams of lawyers trying cases are also located.

“It’s like a club,” Dowd said.

Dowd shared war stories from some of his trials, including his defense of former Arizona governor Fife Symington on bank-fraud charges in 1997. Symington won acquittal or dismissal of 17 of the 23 charges against him. Two years later, an appeals court reversed the conviction, granting Symington a new trial on the other six counts. Symington was pardoned by President Bill Clinton before he could be retried.

Dowd also discussed a 1973 trial in the old U.S. courthouse, next door to the one where jurors are considering Rajaratnam’s fate.

“Were you even alive then?” Dowd, who was born in 1941, asked 41-year-old Brodsky, prompting laughter from the group.

The case is U.S. v. Rajaratnam, 1:09-cr-01184, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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