Ira Leonard (Lefty) Ewers, 77, who practiced maritime law here for 50 years and was known as the dean of the city's lawyers in that specialty, died Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital of cardiac arrest that followed surgery.

Mr. Ewers was a Washington native and resident who attended McKinley Technical high school and obtained a law degree from Georgetown in 1923.

Mr. Ewers aided Congressional committees in drafting much important maritime and shipping legislation from the Merchant Marine Act of 1928 to the 1961 Bonner Amendments to the Shipping Act of 1916.

He was counsel to the American Merchant Marine Institute, and the Committee of American Steamship Lines, represented steamship companies and was past president of the Maritime Administrative Bar Assn. and a long-time chairman of the Resolutions Committee of the U.S. Propeller Club.

During World War 1 Mr. Ewers served in France as a corporal with the 110th Field Artillery. During World War II he was an air raid warden and a member of a draft board.

He held a citation from President Hoover for his work as technical adviser to the Pan American Commission on port procedures and terminology.

Survivors include two sons, William B. of Coral Springs, Fla., and John Robert, of Bethesda, two sisters, Mrs. Charles W. Isbell of Alexandria and Mrs. Samuel P. Ragland of Wheaton.