Shapiro Arato Wins Second Circuit Ruling Vacating Conviction of Former Deutsche Bank Broker

On June 8, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a district court ruling and granted a new trial for our client, former Deutsche Bank broker David Parse, because his constitutional right to an impartial jury was violated.

Mr. Parse and three other defendants were convicted in the spring of 2011 in connection with allegations of fraud pertaining to tax shelters marketed by lawyers at Jenkens & Gilchrist and the accounting firm BDO Seidman. Mr. Parse was acquitted of most of the charges against him, but convicted on two counts. Following post-trial proceedings the district court found that one juror had repeatedly lied on voir dire, showed extreme bias against Mr. Parse, and perpetrated extraordinary fraud by inventing a fictitious persona to obtain a seat on the jury. However, the district court granted a new trial for the other defendants, but not Mr. Parse, because it held that his lawyers knew, or should have discovered, that the biased juror had repeatedly lied during voir dire.

The Second Circuit reversed, finding that the lawyers were not aware of the juror’s perjury and therefore had not waived Mr. Parse’s right to an impartial jury. The Court further concluded that the juror’s fraud had caused a miscarriage of justice and that Mr. Parse was entitled to a new trial, explaining: “In these circumstances–in which a juror aligned herself with the government, lied pervasively in voir dire for the purpose of avoiding dismissal for cause, believed prior to the presentation of any evidence that the defendants were ‘“crooks,’” and expressly mentioned Parse as a target of her efforts to persuade the other jurors to convict–a refusal to order a new trial for Parse would seriously affect the fairness, integrity, and public reputation of judicial proceedings.

Alexandra Shapiro, Mr. Parse’s lead lawyer for the appeal said, “We are very pleased by the Second Circuit’s recognition that a fair and impartial jury is one of the most fundamental rights at the heart of our criminal justice system.  Mr. Parse is innocent, and he looks forward to being vindicated at a retrial before an impartial jury if the government retries the case.”

Ms. Shapiro took over the case at the appellate stage and presented argument before the Second Circuit in October 2014. Chetan Patil co-authored the briefs.

The Second Circuit’s opinion can be found here, and the briefs can be found here and here.