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A prominent tort reform group has a new idea for attacking out-of-control litigation: more lawsuits. That was the theme of an online seminar last week by the conservative Washington Legal Foundation. The group, which has become known for filing objections to plaintiffs lawyers’ fee requests, is now advocating for a new type of litigation: shareholder suits against plaintiffs lawyers famous for bringing shareholder suits. The occasion, of course, is the highly public federal investigation of the plaintiffs firm formerly known as Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach. As prosecutors continue to pursue former lawyers of that firm, the Washington Legal Foundation aims to piggyback on the allegations. “A taste of their own medicine might be poetic justice,” said Paul Kamenar, the group’s senior executive counsel. The muse behind the idea is Seymour Lazar, the lead plaintiff in many Milberg Weiss suits who was indicted by federal prosecutors in June for allegedly taking payments from the firm. (Milberg Weiss and its former lawyers have not been charged.) In the Aug. 25 seminar, Kamenar suggested that allegations in that indictment could form the basis for a wide range of suits by former class members from Milberg Weiss suits. “We would be prepared to file such a case,” he said. Joseph Grundfest, a securities expert at Stanford Law School and frequent critic of the plaintiffs bar, said he has heard little about the idea of civil suits in connection with the federal probe. “All of this seems premature until we know what allegations, if any, are going to be made against the firm and individual attorneys,” he said.
Justin Scheck is a reporter for The Recorder , a sister ALM publication.

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