• Ex-law firm executives wait to learn fate in accounting case
  • Manhattan jury `hopelessly deadlocked' after 22 days

The Manhattan jury weighing charges against three former executives of the Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP law firm said it’s “hopelessly deadlocked” on the remaining counts.

The state court jury, in its 22nd day of deliberations, sent a note to the judge Monday saying it remained deadlocked on fraud and larceny charges against former firm chairman Steven Davis, former executive director Stephen DiCarmine and former chief financial officer Joel Sanders. The panel earlier found the three not guilty of falsifying business records.

This is the third time the jury has said it can’t reach a unanimous decision. The first two times the jurors said they were at an impasse on a majority of the counts. Now they say they’re stuck on all the remaining counts.  

A lawyer for one of the defendants wants the judge to declare a mistrial. The other two defense teams have said they aren’t seeking one.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has accused the three law firm executives of cutting costs by mischaracterizing payments to lawyers, double-booking income, delaying expenses and asking clients to backdate checks. They face as long as 25 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge of grand larceny, while the other felony counts carry sentences of no more than four years.

Dewey ranked 28th by gross revenue on American Lawyer magazine’s 2012 list of the largest law firms. The New York-based firm was the product of a 2007 merger between Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae. When the financial crisis hit a year later, work slowed and the billing director -- one of those who pleaded guilty and aided in the probe -- said she began falsifying invoices to boost accounts receivable.

The firm filed for bankruptcy in May 2012, owing creditors $245 million. It was the biggest global law firm to collapse in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. 

The case is People v. Davis, 773-2014, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

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