Former Dewey junior manager Zachary Warren in September 2014. (NYLJ/Rick Kopstein)
Zachary Warren, a young lawyer and former junior manager at Dewey & LeBoeuf who faced criminal charges alongside three firm executives, has formally put the case behind him and has relaunched his legal career at one of the country’s top law firms.
Ahead of schedule, a Manhattan judge dismissed fraud and conspiracy charges against Warren on Friday under a deferred prosecution agreement reached last year, according to his attorney, William Murphy. He had been accused by New York prosecutors of helping conceal Dewey’s precarious finances before the firm collapsed in 2012.
Now Warren is free to focus on his practice as an associate at prominent Am Law 100 firm Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., where he handles civil and criminal litigation.
“I am relieved to close this chapter and to continue to focus on my career,” Warren said Friday in an interview. “As with all experiences in life, I hope that I put this one to good use.”
Murphy, a Baltimore partner at Zuckerman Spaeder, said having being embroiled in the Dewey case could be an asset in Warren’s practice.
“It’s fair to say that he’s had an experience in the criminal justice system that few other lawyers had,” Murphy said in an interview. “It will be a benefit in his career.”
Charges were first announced in March 2014 against Warren, former Dewey chairman Steven Davis, former executive director Steven DiCarmine and former chief financial officer Joel Sanders. The Manhattan DA’s office claimed Warren helped plan fraudulent accounting entries and took part in covering them up at Dewey.
At the time, some observers were critical of prosecutors for including Warren in the case. He was 24 when he worked at Dewey and left in mid-2009 to attend Georgetown University Law Center, before a 2010 private bond offering by the firm that became a key part of the case against the other defendants.
While charges were pending against the four Dewey defendants, Warren practiced at a Pittsburgh-based employment law firm. His case was ultimately separated from the three executives, whose trial in 2015 ended in a hung jury.
Shortly after the mistrial, Warren signed a deferred prosecution agreement in which charges of scheming to defraud and conspiracy would be dropped in a year. The deal placed no restrictions on Warren’s ability to practice law, but required him to perform community service.
Warren began practicing at Williams & Connolly last November, Murphy said. He completed his community service obligations early, allowing him to have his case dismissed this month. His indictment has now been sealed, Murphy said.
A retrial is scheduled to begin in about a week against the two remaining Dewey defendants, DiCarmine and Sanders. Davis, the former chairman, has signed a five-year deferred prosecution agreement.
Murphy said he doesn’t anticipate Warren will participate in the retrial, as no party has notified him that he will be called as a witness.
Warren said he has learned “enormously” from his attorneys, Murphy and Paul Shechtman, a partner at Bracewell. “The experience working with them will certainly help me,” he said. “They have been and will continue to be mentors.”
A spokesman for the DA’s office declined to comment.
Warren just “wants to get this part of his life over, and now it’s over,” Murphy said. Acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Robert Stolz confirmed that sentiment when he told Warren in court Friday, “Have a good life.”
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