Mel Weiss: Another Guilty Plea from a Trial Lawyer

By March 20, 2008Briefly Legal

Melvyn Weiss.

Melvyn Weiss, the onetime powerhouse shareholders lawyer, has struck a deal to agree to plead guilty in a case alleging improper kickbacks, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

His lawyer declined to comment. The terms of the deal, which could be announced as early as today, weren’t known.

Mr. Weiss, 72, was indicted in September on charges in connection with his role in an alleged scheme at his law firm, now known as Milberg Weiss LLP, to pay millions of dollars in kickbacks to clients in exchange for their being at the ready to serve as name plaintiffs in lucrative shareholder class-action cases. He was charged with four counts and could have faced 40 years in federal prison if convicted on all of them in a trial.

A deal would mark one of the final chapters in a long-running probe into the high-profile law firm.

Melvyn Weiss. William Lerach. Dickie Scruggs. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

We look forward to all the materials that will have to be rewritten at Milberg-Weiss. Start here:

Milberg Weiss LLP, founded in 1965, is one of the most respected and effective plaintiff law firm in the United States. The firm’s unparalleled resources place it in a unique position to vigorously pursue all types of corporate wrongdoing.

The guilty pleas of a namesake partner, Weiss, and its former giant of class-action lawsuits, Bill Lerach, also place it in a unique position, don’t you think?

UPDATE (11:14 a.m.): Definitely a Wall Street Journal scoop. Not much coverage otherwise. From Reuters:

NEW YORK, March 20 (Reuters) – A lawyer representing U.S. class-action attorney Melvyn Weiss said on Thursday that a statement would be issued later in the day following a report that Weiss had reached a deal to agree to plead guilty in a criminal case.

Weiss’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, provided no additional details.

UPDATE (11:45 a.m.) Update the website? Heck. Update the firm!

The firm formerly known as Milberg Weiss Bershad & Shulman LLP, then Milberg Weiss Bershad LLP, then later Milberg Weiss LLP, will now be known just as Milberg LLP. According to a Milberg insider, the name change was announced at a staff meeting this morning, at which Mel Weiss gave a speech talking about the accomplishments of the firm. The audience reportedly applauded. A spokeswoman for the firm didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Larry Milberg died in 1989.

Leave a Reply