Results matching “milberg”

Seattle federal court cuts fees - PointOfLaw Forum

Plaintiffs' lawyers (including the Lerach spinoff of the Milberg Weiss firm) in the InfoSpace securities litigation sought a quarter of the $34.3 million settlement fund, even though their ostensible clients would only end up with ten cents a share. This time, however, class plaintiffs The New York State Teachers' Retirement System, the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho, and the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System objected to the fee request. The Western District of Washington noted that it was a "garden variety" securities case, that the attorneys never even had to file a response to the defendants' motion to dismiss before the case was settled, and that discovery resulted in the production of eleven boxes of documents. Thus, the court decided to award just under $4 million, or more than $900/hour for the 4200 hours billed by 29 attorneys. Remarkably, this is a step in the right direction, since the Ninth Circuit regularly awards 25% contingency fees to class lawyers as a "benchmark." (In re InfoSpace, Inc. Sec. Litig., 2004 WL 1879013 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 5, 2004); Lyle Roberts, The 10b-5 Daily, Aug. 30).

Shareholder-suit trends - PointOfLaw Forum

The total in settlements dipped last year for the first time in a long while (to $2 billion), but the latest Stanford Law School/Cornerstone Research study on volume of securities litigation otherwise confirms many widely noted observations and trends: the size of settlements keeps rising; the plaintiff's bar has adapted to the 1995 Private Securities Litigation Reform Act by coordinating its activities with big public pension funds and other institutional investors, in line with the act's intentions; Milberg Weiss and its offshoot Lerach Coughlin have if anything expanded their dominance; and suits that survive the motion to dismiss/summary judgment stage are highly likely to be settled for substantial sums. (Michael Bobelian, "Drop Seen in Settlement Totals for Securities Class Actions", New York Law Journal, May 13).

NYT on Lerach-Weiss divorce, cont'd - PointOfLaw Forum

While yielding some interesting detail, that Times profile of Milberg Weiss and its descendant firms was also moistly uncritical, making little secret of its admiration for Messrs. Weiss and Lerach and doing little to explore the contentions of their critics, who are not exactly sparse on the ground. It skims very quickly over the ongoing investigation of the firm by the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles, and as Larry Ribstein notes, doesn't even deign to mention the $50 million payout the firm made after it was exposed to a punitive damage claim arising from alleged abuse of process in the Lexecon/Fischel case.

Nor (or did I miss it?) does reporter Timothy L. O'Brien mention the firm's embarrassment earlier this year in the Terayon/Cardinal affair (written up by the San Francisco Chronicle's Ren Holding, by Lyle Roberts, and by Brenda Sandburg at Law.com), in which Judge Marilyn Hall Patel removed two lead plaintiffs in a securities case as class representatives after it came out in discovery that they had been massive short sellers of the stock of the company, a maker of cable modem equipment, and had engaged in a concerted effort to spread negative information about the firm to talk its stock price down -- not exactly a position representative of other shareholders.

None of which can be accounted surprising, exactly: the Sunday New York Times business section for some time has served pretty much as a bulletin board for the securities plaintiff's bar to vent its various themes and allegations. And Mr. Lerach, in particular, doesn't take kindly to unflattering press attention. I believe Mickey Kaus refers to this kind of story as a "beat sweetener".

NYT on "the kings of tort" - PointOfLaw Forum

For those who missed it, the front page of yesterday's New York Times business section featured a comprehensive story entitled "Behind the Breakup of the Kings of Tort" (registration required), on the split of erstwhile law partners Mel Weiss of New York and Bill Lerach of San Diego. Their firm, Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes & Lerach, had been the dominant player in securities class actions, and the two firms after the split remain so.

Milberg Weiss Completes Its Breakup - legal news

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