Bernstein Leibhard has been chastised by a federal judge for revealing after six years of lawyering that the lead plaintiff in a securities case never bought the funds at issue.

Citing “epic failures” in litigation against Smith Barney and Citigroup, Southern District Judge William Pauley said in an angry opinion yesterday that the court had wasted time and resources before learning that lead plaintiff, Operating Local 649 Annuity Trust Fund, which had certified it owned 75,000 shares of the Smith Barney Capital Preservation Fund, had it wrong.

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