By Joseph Ax
NEW YORK, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Lawyers for former Deutsche Bank
employee David Parse, convicted last year in connection with a
$130 million tax shelter scheme, did not provide ineffective
counsel when they failed to reveal their suspicions about a
juror who lied about her identity, a Manhattan federal judge
U.S. District Judge William Pauley denied Parse's motion for
a new trial, finding that his attorneys concealed their belief
out of strategy, not ineptitude.
"This decision -- to gamble on a jury that included Juror
No. 1 and hide that knowledge from the court -- does not
constitute ineffective assistance of counsel," Pauley wrote.
Parse was convicted in May 2011 along with Paul Daugerdas
and Donna Guerin, both partners at defunct law firm Jenkens &
Gilchrist, and Denis Field, the former head of accounting firm
After a juror, Catherine Conrad, admitted she did not
disclose that she was an attorney suspended for disciplinary
reasons, Pauley in June ordered new trials for Daugerdas, Guerin
and Field, ruling that the verdict was tainted by Conrad's
However, he refused to grant Parse's request for a new trial
at that time. Parse's lawyers at Brune & Richard suspected
Conrad was a suspended attorney but failed to notify the court,
he ruled, allowing her to "infect" the trial.
Parse moved for a retrial again, claiming his lawyers'
failure to disclose what they suspected about Conrad constituted
ineffective counsel. Pauley rejected that argument Thursday.
The judge also concluded that the outcome would have been
the same for Parse regardless of whether his lawyers had
disclosed what they knew about Conrad, based on the
"overwhelming" evidence against him.
"Parse would have been convicted even if his counsel behaved
unimpeachably," Pauley wrote.
Paul Shechtman of Zuckerman Spaeder, who represented Parse
for the purposes of the motion, did not immediately return a
request for comment. Susan Brune, one of Parse's trial lawyers,
also did not respond to a request for comment.
Guerin pleaded guilty in September to tax evasion charges.
Daugerdas and Field have not yet been retried.
A fifth defendant, former Deutsche Bank employee Craig
Brubaker, was acquitted at the first trial.
Jenkens & Gilchrist dissolved in 2007 after agreeing to pay
a $76 million tax penalty.
The case is USA v. Paul Daugerdas, U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York, No. 09-cr-581.
For the government: Stanley Okula, Nanette Davis and Jason
Hernandez, assistant U.S. attorneys for the Southern District of
For Parse: Paul Shechtman and Elena Steiger Reich of
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