Former Dewey Partner Blames Greedy Partners, Not Firm Leaders
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ralph ferrara gives testimony

Summary: A former Dewey rainmaker gave testimony against the firm’s former leaders.

Considering that the collapse of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP historically ranked the largest law firm bankruptcy, it was inevitable that creditors would seek out Dewey’s former leaders. In a trial that is expected to last upwards to six more months, is has continued this week with testimony from Ralph Ferrara, a former rain-maker who at $5 million yearly was one of the highest paid partners.


Though called on by the prosecutors, Ferrara’s testimony played just as well into the hands of the defense. His key narrative regarded a closed-door meeting of February 2012 when Chairman Steven Davis, who is one of the three defendants in this case, lost his cool in a dispute about the firm’s finances, claiming that Dewey had lied to him in order to get his former firm, LeBoeuf Lamb Green & MacRae LLP, to merge with them.

“I took all of this on and tried to make it work, so don’t sit here and tell me today that I brought this firm down,” Ferrara claims Davis said at that meeting.

The defense is hoping to paint the firms’ collapse as owing a lot to lawyers who left from “fear and greed.” Indeed, after that significant meeting, a mass exodus of lawyers lost faith in the firm, and sought their fortune and success elsewhere.

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“Inertia is a particularly powerful force, and that snowball was rolling down the hill with every departure,” explained Ferrara – a telling bit of testimony considering he himself left for Proskauer Rose in May of 2012.

Ferrara further called Davis a “visionary leader,” in the same tone this Monday as he had, last Thursday, called Sanders “solid as a rock,” and of DiCarmine, “If you knew Steve DiCarmine, you’d say this is the guy I’d like to have run my company.”

This is all useful testimony for the defense, though Ferrara was intended to be used as a witness against the three leaders of Dewey.

News Source: Law360


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