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"Essentially, owning his own plaintiff"

According to Prof. Bainbridge (Feb. 8), securities lawyer Mel Lifshitz has come under scrutiny for that possible ethical misstep. Lifshitz and his firm have filed more than a dozen securities actions naming as plaintiff a Delaware limited partnership called Colbart Birnet. However, per an article in TheStreet.com, "in five filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lifshitz is listed as a 'beneficial owner' of the Colbart Birnet partnership -- a circumstance Lifshitz says is plain wrong and attributes to 'human error.'" A charitable trust administered by Lifshitz's family, the Melly & Rochelle Lifshitz Charitable Trust has invested at least $227,655 in Colbart Birnet and a second charitable trust established by Lifshitz's New York-based firm, Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, has invested a similar amount. Lifshitz says Hofstra lawprof and legal ethicist Roy Simon has given a clean bill of health to his firm's dealings with Colbart Birnet. "The National Law Journal recently named Bernstein Liebhard as one of the country's 'hot' plaintiffs' firms."



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.