There have been laws created to stop this law firm's abuse of the litigation system. They didn't work, the firm still made an obscene amount of money. Milberg Weiss and two of its prominent partners, David J. Bershad and Steven G. Schulman have been indicted on some serious charges, that some say, might ultimately bring the law firm to its knees...and drive it out of business.
A 20..count em 20 count indictment was handed down by the feds after a 7 year investigation according to an LA Times article. It includes these lovely charges: racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, money laundering conspiracy and obstruction of justice. THESE ARE CHARGES YOU WOULD SEE AGAINST MOBSTERS FOR GODS SAKE. It all started to unravel, according to the LA Times writeup thusly: "The investigation gained momentum in 2001, when Steven G. Cooperman, a former Beverly Hills eye surgeon who had been a plaintiff in about 60 Milberg cases, became a government informant. He faced up to 10 years in federal prison for faking the theft of a Monet and a Picasso from his home, then swindling insurers out of $17.5 million. In return for his help in the Milberg probe, Cooperman wound up serving 21 months."
Sorry for the caps, I used to work for a law office or two..one, a huge corporate firm, the other a one-man show..so I know attorneys to some degree. I have rubbed elbows with them off and on the job. They piss me off more times than not and make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Toss in the fact that 99 percent of our elected officials are "lawyers" and there you have it..a reason to kill them all. The actual quote from Shakespeare was a tribute to attorneys. I think not in this case.
Back to the boys at Milberg Weiss...They filed class-action securities lawsuits. According to the NY Times article: "The lawsuits cited in the indictment spanned two decades, occurring as recently as 2005, and generated some $216 million in legal fees for the firm."
What set this indictment apart for me, was the whole mob mentality of the firm..they paid,according to the charges, $11 million in secret payments to three individuals who served as plaintiffs in more than 150 lawsuits. Also..and I love this part..they laundered money through casinos and actually kept some of it in the office of one of the partners in a credenza..a pricey one I bet.
And the irony is this...now Milberg Weiss is open to being hit with plethora of lawsuits themselves. Pissed off clients and competing firms, not to mention some if not all these cases could be overturned now that hanky-panky has been unearthed. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and some of these cases go back 20 years. Thats real cold. Sadly, the firm has most likely structured the financials so that the partners assets are protected from lawsuits. But their assets can't be protected from the feds..part of the indictment asks that the legal fees be returned. Ain't that a bitch..plus the two senior partners are facing upwards of 20 years in the slammer. Its going to be a bitch doing the "perpwalk" at their advanced ages of 66 and 54. The LA Times is putting a political spin on these indictments noting the various indictees connection to the Democratic Party. Since the investigation has been on-going for around 7 years, I fail to see the connection. Smarmy lawyers come in all shapes,colors and party affiliations.