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GOP House Leader Calls for Hearings into Milberg Weiss

Today, House Republican Leader John Boeher and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Committee Chairman John Conyers asking for a hearing prompted by the criminal conspiracy and convictions involving the Milberg Weiss law firm. (Copy of the letter here.)

As the two note in their letter: "Mr. Lerach himself told the Wall Street Journal his illegal conduct and that of his law partners was an 'industry practice.' At his sentencing, one of his supporting letters quoted Mr. Lerach as saying, 'Everybody was paying plaintiffs so they could bring their cases.'"

The two ask for hearings by May 19th, the date Weiss is to report to prison. The questions they want asked:

  • How many of these cases are brought as a result of illegal payments to plaintiffs?
  • What other types of conflicts exist between trial lawyers and the injured investors they purport to represent?
  • What reforms should Congress enact to eradicate these abuses from our judicial system?
  • More at Shopfloor.org, where we conclude:

    We would be naive to think partisanship didn't enter into this request. Trial lawyers represent a major political force within the Democratic party, much appreciated for their generosity in campaign contributions. If Chairman Conyers declines to hold a hearing, the Republicans will make an issue of it.

    But so what?

    UPDATE (11:59 a.m.) Nathan Koppel reports on the letter at the WSJ Law Blog, noting that Congress passed the PSLRA in 1995 to prevent this sort of thing. The point being?

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    Rafael Mangual
    Project Manager,
    Legal Policy

    Manhattan Institute


    Published by the Manhattan Institute

    The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.