But high-powered class action law firm Milberg Weiss & Bershad is not only accused of paying money to obtain clients, most certainly a form of ambulance chasing, but named partner David Bershad has now plead guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice. This investigation has been going for six years.
Byron Stier at the Mass Torts Litigation Blog has this excerpt:
According to a person familiar with the situation, Bershad‘s plea will relate to the core allegations of the indictment: misleading judges into believing that plaintiffs were being paid by Milberg Weiss, when in fact the firm was paying them. A “factual statement” accompanying the plea is also expected to unveil new details of the government’s allegations against the still unindicted “Partner A” and “Partner B,” who are widely assumed to be, respectively, name partner Melvyn Weiss and former name partner William Lerach. Lerach and the San Diego-based west coast office of Milberg Weiss split away from Milberg Weiss in 2004 to found Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins.
He said in court papers that he and others agreed to conceal from judges secret payment arrangements that the firm had with named plaintiffs in class actions. He will forfeit $7.75 million and pay a $250,000 fine. He could face as much as five years in prison; how much time if any he serves may depend in part on his cooperation, the plea agreement says.
So, do you think those who thought Scooter Libby’s obstruction of justice sentence too harsh will be starting a campaign for commutation of Bershad’s eventual jail sentence?
- Are Weiss and Lerach About to Go Down? (Professor Bainbridge)
- Bershad, Formerly with Milberg Weiss, Pleads Guilty (Securities Law Prof Blog)
- David Bershad pleads guilty in class action kickback scheme (FindLaw)
- Bershad plea update (The Dirt Lawyer’s Blog)
- Lawyer of the Day: David Bershad (Above the Law)
- Milberg Weis Partner Pleads Guilty in Kickback Scheme (TalkLeft)
- Government Tightens Noose on Top Securities Class Action Attorneys (Stock Broker Fraud Blog)
- Bershad’s Plea Deal and What it May Mean (The D & O Diary)
- Into the memory hole (Point of Law)
- Milberg Weis plea deal (The Practice)
- Ex-Partner at Milberg Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy (How Appealing with a round-up of traditional media articles)
(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York)