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the three men who once ran one of the most prestigious law firms in the country find themselves defendants in a case that will determine whether criminal intent was behind the largest law firm bankruptcy in u. s. history before it's twenty twelve collapse doing a birth at one point had more than a thousand attorneys and represented big names such as disney a. i. g. and b. p. , they're in the name of onetime partner former new york governor thomas e. dewey this so called super firm was the product of a merger of two others in two thousand eight in the throes of the financial crisis , we're just correspondent christine simmons , course that's when clients started to cut backs are to scrutinize and their legal bills they started to delay payments and let's at least in part how former chairman stephen davis ex executive director steven to carmine and former c. f. o. joel sanders came to face criminal charges ranging from grand larceny to scheming to defraud %HESITATION it owed hundreds of millions of dollars and %HESITATION differently loan agreements and and compensation , according to prosecutors in the trial which kicks off this week as dewey's finances were hitting rock bottom the man he'd it's true condition from investors all three execs have pleaded not guilty and are expected to argue that they were merely trying to save the storied firm , and added wrinkle indicar minds case a cousin who allegedly rose to become acting head of one of new york's most prominent mafia families , he's serving on life in prison for murder and so to carmine he's asked today on the court not to allow his out to car minds cousin to come into the prosecution's case that i , the trial is expected to last four to six months