Only The Best For Ken Lewis! Top Litigator Mary Jo White Comes Out Swinging For The Ex-CEO

It feels like likely New York gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo was a little late to the suing-Bank of America-party today.

But he upped the ante from the settled (pending approval!) SEC lawsuit. Cuomo did not just name the bank, but also named BofA’s former CEO Ken Lewis and former CFO Joseph Price.  

mary jo white

Cuomo’s line of the day, of course, is his made-for-tv soundbite — “This is just fraud,” he said.

Lewis was quick to issue a statement, or rather his attorney issued one on his behalf. 

And who is this attorney? One of the nation’s top litigators, Debevoise & Plimpton’s Mary Jo White.

White is a former federal prosecutor who brought racketeering charges against John Gotti and prosecuted those responsible for the 1993 World Trade centre bombing. She defended a New York Times journalist from libel allegations made by Donald Trump and vetted John Mack for the CEO job at Morgan Stanley.

When Lewis originally hired White last fall to handle his escalating legal woes, a former colleague had high words of praise. “She is an incredibly effective and insightful lawyer who knows how to put a case together better than anybody,” David Kelley, a former U.S. Attorney in New York who is now at Cahill, told Bloomberg.

White said Cuomo’s decision to name Lewis is “badly misguided…without support in the facts or the law” and that “not a shred of objective evidence” supports the AG’s allegations.

Price’s lawyer is no slouch either. He is represented by Baker Botts partner William Jeffress, Jr., whose own statement begins this way: “The allegation that Mr. Price deliberately caused Bank of America to withhold from shareholders information they were entitled to know is utterly false.”

How is that for carefully worded? “Deliberately” caused, information shareholders “were entitled to.”

The world outside of Andrew Cuomo may be tiring of the BofA tale, but big shot lawyers are working tirelessly to make sure the defendants’ story has a happy ending.

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