Brown, Goldstein & Levy founding partner Andy Levy recently spoke with AP News about the contentious path Leo Wise, a lead federal prosecutor assigned to investigate Hunter Biden, has forged during his time in Baltimore.
Wise was known as a talented attorney who was not afraid to take on high-profile cases involving prominent figures in Baltimore, including a former mayor and police chief. However, a case in 2021 led to Wise’s credibility being put into question, and ultimately, damaged. The case involved attorneys Kenneth Ravenell and former BGL partner Josh Treem, who represented Ravenell in a money laundering conspiracy case. Wise and his team charged Josh, a well-reputed lawyer with more than 50 years of extensive criminal defense experience, with obstructing the Ravenell investigation and falsifying documents – angering much of the city’s legal community who saw the case as exceptionally weak. Josh vehemently denied any wrongdoing and was acquitted outright. The Justice Department also swiftly withdrew a brief Wise filed in Ravenell’s appeal that accused a major law firm of benefiting from laundered proceeds – a rare move that indicated the Department’s reprimand.
Andy, who worked with Josh at BGL for over a decade, told AP News that Wise “was pretty well-respected, not just for his legal ability, but I think people thought that he was a reasonable guy that could be trusted.” But, Andy added, Wise’s prosecution of Josh was “such a colossal error of judgment” that it was detrimental to Wise’s reputation in the legal community.
Years later, tensions still linger. A Baltimore law club at which Wise was scheduled to speak about his book (that he wrote about a case he worked on while still sitting as a prosecutor) was canceled in May amid opposition from members of the legal community who remain outraged by Wise’s conduct in the prosecution against Josh.
Andy Levy is widely regarded as one of Maryland’s premier trial and appellate lawyers, equally comfortable in civil and criminal courtrooms, before a jury, judge, or arbitrator. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, one of the few lawyers in the country to have been inducted as a Fellow of both organizations. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America in nine categories. In 2020, Andy received the prestigious Robert C. Heeney Award, given to honor the lifetime achievement of an attorney who has “exemplified the highest professional standards in the field of criminal law and practice during his distinguished career.” Learn more about Andy here.
Founded in 1982, Brown, Goldstein & Levy is a law firm based in Baltimore, Maryland, with an office in Washington, D.C. The firm is nationally recognized in a wide variety of practice areas, including complex civil and commercial litigation, civil rights, health care, family law, and criminal defense. Above all else, Brown, Goldstein & Levy is a client-centered law firm that brings decades of experience and passionate, effective advocacy to your fight for justice.