I hope all these crooked shyster lawyers who have been feeding in the class action suit trough get nailed and BIG. Their scheme to take $millions from corporations through the courts is a travesty on the American system of jurisprudence. All class action suits should be scrutinized deeply by investigators working for the courts to weed out these bad apples before the suit goes forward. Forcing corporations to spend needless $millions in discovery and other legal processes is wrong and these shysters should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Here's the NY Times take on this with a few excerpts below from the story.
"Mr. Bershad’s guilty plea is the latest blow to a powerhouse firm that once dominated the landscape for class-action securities lawsuits and spurred fear as well as contempt in corporate boardrooms. But over the last year, the firm has struggled to retain its major clients, its lawyers and its hold on numerous lawsuits even as the number of securities-related cases has declined, in part because of the strong performance of the stock market."
"The 20-count indictment, which included conspiracy and other charges, detailed a scheme that began in the 1970s and continued as recently as 2005. In that scheme, lawyers inside Milberg Weiss paid $11 million in “secret and illegal kickbacks” to named plaintiffs in more than 150 class-action and other shareholder lawsuits. The lawsuits, according to the indictment, earned the firm more than $216 million."
"In pleading guilty in Federal District Court in Los Angeles to one count of conspiracy, Mr. Bershad also agreed to give back $7.75 million, pay a $250,000 fine, and cooperate in the government’s investigation of other participants in the conspiracy, prosecutors said."
"The partners at the firm who agreed to the secret payments included himself, Mr. Schulman, who has vowed to fight the charges and is scheduled to go on trial in January, as well as numerous unnamed partners, including “Partner A” and “Partner B,” according to the plea agreement. People briefed on the investigation say Partner A and Partner B are Mr. Weiss and Mr. Lerach."
Now, if these others are guilty, I hope their trials result in substantial penalties. In my view, a lawyer must be held to very high standards before the bar. Ripping off corporations should be punished as harshly as ripping off individuals.