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Dennis P. Orr

Dennis P. Orr

Morrison & Foerster LLP

New York, NY, USA

Dennis Orr is a trial lawyer specializing in high-stakes complex commercial litigation. Mr. Orr has tried over 30 cases in his career, and, though he has principally served as a defense lawyer, he has won more than $200 million in verdicts and awards in various proceedings around the United States. Mr. Orr handles complex litigation for corporate plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of industries, most notably the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, consumer product, accounting, and securities industries.

Mr. Orr's track record in a variety of settings–whether it's connecting with juries, deposing key witnesses, or negotiating a settlement–has been recognized by a variety of publications, including being named one of the nation's top trial lawyers by the National Law Journal. He's been called "an innovator, a thinker who does his homework" by Chambers USA, which names him one of the top lawyers in New York in both commercial litigation and antitrust.


SP Syntax LLC v. Ernst & Young LLP, et al. 
  Following a three-week trial in California Superior Court, won a unanimous jury verdict on behalf of Ernst & Young (EY), defeating claims that the accounting firm had made negligent representations in connection with financial statements issued by Syntax-Brillian, a manufacturer of flat-screen televisions that filed for bankruptcy in 2008. Silver Point, a hedge fund, sought $50 million that it wasn't able to recover from Syntax-Brillian's bankruptcy proceedings, alleging that a $130 million loan it had extended to Syntax-Brillian would not have occurred but for alleged misrepresentations in EY's audit of the company. The jury, by a 12-0 vote,
concluded that Ernst & Young had made no misrepresentations of any kind. (2010)

Insurance Executives Securities Litigation.
  (U.S.D.C., Southern District of New York; Delaware Chancery Court). Currently representing ten current and former officers and directors of a leading international insurance organization in pending securities and derivative lawsuits. (2009)

In re IPO Securities Litigation
  (S.D.N.Y.) Served as court-appointed liaison counsel for more than 300 issuers and 1,000 individual defendants and also directly represented over 30 issuer defendants, and approximately 200 individual defendants. This is one of the largest, most complex securities ever brought. (2009)

Semi-Tech Litigation, L.L.C. v. Ting et al.; Semi-Tech Litigation, LLC v. Bankers Trust
  (N.Y. Supreme Court, County of N.Y.); (S.D.N.Y.). Won favorable out-ofcourt settlement on behalf of the Canadian accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP in a lawsuit brought by investors trying to recoup alleged losses resulting from junk bonds issued by Semi-Tech Corp. After Semi-Tech filed for bankruptcy, and the bonds became worthless, the investors brought suit against Semi-Tech's former officers and directors, as well as E&Y Canada, Attorney Bio. which had audited Semi-Tech's financial statements. Plaintiffs sought over $578 million dollars in damages. Had the case gone to summary judgment or trial, it would have had far-reaching implications for auditors sued by investors in bankrupt companies. (2002; 2006)

Frontier Insurance Group, Inc. v. Ernst & Young LLP
  In a jury trial in the Southern District of New York, Morrison & Foerster successfully defended Ernst & Young (“E&Y”) in an actuarial malpractice case. The case stemmed from the decision by the New York State Department of Insurance to place Frontier Insurance Company (“FIC”) in rehabilitation. FIC’s parent claimed it relied on Ernst & Young's assessment of the company’s reserve estimates in deciding to make capital contributions to its primary operating subsidiary, and wanted to recoup those investments from E&Y, seeking in excess of $200 million. After 12 trial days in November/December 2009, the jury weighed the evidence and concluded that there was no negligence. This was the first significant actuarial malpractice case to go to trial since Pricewaterhouse Coopers’s defense in the Ambassador litigation, and a significant victory for E&Y, which often faces these types of lawsuits.

Fraud and Breach of Contract Litigation
  (Superior Court of New Jersey). Served as lead trial counsel for defendants-counterclaimants, a full service bank, a financial services company, and others in fraud and breach-of-contract action. After a fiveweek trial, won judgment in excess of $23 million.

Professional Recognition
  Dennis Orr is recommended as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA 2011, Best Lawyers In America 2012 and Super Lawyers 2010. He has also been named by The National Law Journal as one of the nation’s top trial lawyers.

  • Boston College (B.A., 1975)
  • St. John's University School of Law (J.D., 1978)

Bar Admissions
  • New York
  • District of Columbia

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