The American Enterprise Institute sponsored a talk yesterday by law professor Michael Perino of St. Johns University, who presented his new paper, "The Milberg Weiss Prosecution: No Harm, No Foul?" The Examiner's Quin Hillyer was on hand, and his summary in today's editorial hits the highpoints:
Class-action lawsuit fraud is not a victimless crime. At the very least, it harms the clients on whose behalf the lawyers are supposed to be working. So concludes respected St. John's University law professor Michael Perino in a new data-driven analysis that shows a clear correlation between the incidence of corruption within disgraced law firm Milberg Weiss and higher fee requests and fee awards by and to the firm. Of course, if a law firm receives a larger portion of a court settlement, the firm's clients receive proportionally less -- which, in Perino's words, is indeed "a real economic harm" to those same clients.
Ted Frank hosted the event and AEI's Peter Wallison interlocuted. The paper and related materials are now online:
- Perino Paper
- S. 3033, the Securities Litigation Attorney Accountability and Transparency Act, introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
- "The Sorcerer, the Apprentice, and the Broom: What to Do about Private Securities Class Actions," March 2007, Peter J. Wallison.