Weiss, Milberg Sing That Boomtown Rats Song

By June 2, 2008Briefly Legal

The law firm Milberg, down to one name, is close to a deal with prosecutors to settle charges the firm engaged in a various federal crimes in paying kickbacks to lead plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits. The WSJ:

Class-action law firm Milberg LLP is close to a settlement that could end a federal prosecution of the firm for alleged kickbacks, according to two people familiar with the discussions. The deal would mark the climax of a case that has roiled the American plaintiff’s bar.

While a deal could still fall apart, the sides have made progress after weeks of talks that have centered on the payment Milberg will have to make as part of a settlement. Last summer, prosecutors had sought about $50 million in fines and penalties, but the demand mushroomed this year to about $100 million, say people familiar with the negotiations. Recently, Milberg and prosecutors have zeroed in on a payout in the neighborhood of $75 million, these people say.

And from Reuters, a story on the today’s sentencing of Mel Weiss.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Class-action legend Melvyn Weiss can expect a rough ride on Monday when he is sentenced by a judge who handed down the maximum penalty to Weiss’s former partner for his role in a kickbacks scheme involving their former law firm.

The 72-year-old Weiss, who built a multibillion-dollar shareholder litigation empire around a law firm now known as Milberg LLP, pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge in March.

More at Portfolio, a feature story on the Bill Lerach-Mel Weiss duo, with such tidbits as: “Compared with Lerach, Weiss has always been the more compelling and complex character, down to the diamond pink ring that he will probably be wearing to his sentencing hearing.”

With all the deals done, the sentences issued, wouldn’t now be a good time for Congress to hold an oversight hearing into the predations of Milberg Weiss and the plaintiff’s bar?

P.S. That Boomtown Rats’ song? “I Don’t Like Mondays.” Although “Rat Trap” might also fit.

Leave a Reply