The Costs of the Plaintiff’s Bar

By March 25, 2008General

Milbergweissbershadhyneslerach.jpgFrom Peter Elkind, Fortune, “Mortal blow to a once-mighty firm“:

It has taken almost nine years, but the extraordinary federal investigation that last week claimed 72-year-old Melvyn Weiss – the proud, long-defiant dean of the class-action securities bar – has now erased an entire masthead of name partners in what was once America’s most feared law firm.

Under an agreement filed late last week, Weiss, who was indicted last September, has agreed to plead guilty to racketeering as part of a 25-year scheme to pay kickbacks to class-action plaintiffs; he faces a 33-month prison term and will pay $10 million to the government. And with that, Milberg Weiss – the firm that Weiss co-founded and ran for decades with an iron hand – announced that it would reduce its name to Milberg LLP.

milberg.jpgFrom The New York Post, “Lawyers Gone Wild,” about the predations of Melvyn Weiss, Milberg-Weiss and the plaintiff’s bar:

The saddest part about the injury Weiss caused is that it’s become permanently ingrained in the system – think “litigation lotto.”

As Neil Minow of Corporate Library told The New York Times, kickback schemes like the one he used no longer are necessary: “Because of what he accomplished, lawyers do not need to scrounge for plaintiffs.”

More’s the pity.

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