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Federal investigators have been looking at Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman in connection with paying kickbacks to lead plaintiffs in major class actions. The firm and two name partners were indicted on May 18. Hot Topics Table of Contents

Contrite Lerach Gets 2 Years

The Recorder February 12, 2008

The securities class action king admits he was “felony stupid” for kicking back fees to name plaintiffs, but a Los Angeles federal judge still gives him the maximum sentence under a government plea bargain.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE Judge Rips Milberg on High Fee Proposal

The Recorder December 5, 2007

Northern District Chief Judge Vaughan Walker laid into Milberg Weiss for greed in a class action case, and defense counsel Skadden, Arps for an appearance of possible conflict.

Bad Choices Dog Weiss in Milberg Probe

The Recorder October 18, 2007

Melvyn Weiss is the last lawyer standing against the government’s kickback probe of his juggernaut plaintiff firm. Observers say one wrong move after another means more jail time for the proud lead partner.

Weiss Indicted in Kickback Scheme

New York Law Journal September 24, 2007

Milberg Weiss co-founder Melvyn Weiss is accused of engineering the kickback scheme that doled out an alleged $11.3 mil-lion to class action plaintiffs.

And Then There Was Melvin

Legal Pad September 19, 2007

After all these years, the Milberg Weiss kickback probe is finally wrapping up. With partner pleas droppin’ like flies, how long can Mel Weiss hold out?

Things Bill Lerach Won’t Be Indicted For

Legal Pad September 18, 2007

A seven-year investigation leads to Bill Lerach being charged with a single measly count? What about the rest of the case. Fortunately, the plea deal itself is very specific about the crimes for which the famed plaintiff lawyer will not be charged.

Lerach to Plead Guilty, Serve 1-2 Years

The Recorder September 18, 2007

Controversial plaintiff giant William Lerach has cut a deal to accept some guilt � and a prison term � in the long-running Milberg Weiss kickback probe.

Milberg Veteran Admits to Kickbacks

The Recorder July 10, 2007

In a plea deal, former partner David Ber-shad gave a detailed account of the kick-back scheme allegedly run by the firm once known as Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman.

Milberg Partners Talk Pleas With Prosecutors

The Recorder June 1, 2007

Key partners in the Milberg Weiss kickback scandal were in L.A. this week talking deals amid a dust storm of new rumors, including speculation on ex-partner Bill Lerach’s next move.

Plea in Milberg Case May Point to Lerach

The Recorder February 1, 2007

Stephen Cooperman’s plea to taking kickbacks in 12 years’ worth of class actions from Milberg Weiss gives a lot of detail about the role of “Partner B.”

Indicted Name Partner Quits Milberg Weiss

The Recorder December 11, 2006

Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman will apparently have a shorter letterhead soon � Steven Schulman, indicted in the marathon kickback probe, has left the firm to strike out on his own, and maximize his payout.

Feds Win Milberg Discovery Battle

The Recorder December 4, 2006

A judge’s secret order means federal prosecutors will get a massive trove of documents connected to the kickback probe of fallen class action giant Milberg Weiss.

Judge Lets Wife Keep Fraud Money

The Recorder November 1, 2006

The faked theft of a Picasso and a Monet launched the Milberg Weiss probe � and may be the firm’s undoing � but it’s not working out so badly for the fraudster’s ex-wife.

Milberg Probe Draws a Little More Attention

Legal Pad November 1, 2006

The Milberg case is making headlines again � starting with another big story in Fortune.

Lieff-Milberg Courtship Hits the Skids

Legal Pad October 2, 2006

“We’re not having any discussions,” Robert Lieff, the top-of-shingle partner at Lieff Cabraser who had gone back to New York several times to discuss a potential deal, said Monday. “I think they’ve decided to go their own way.”

Judge Frustrated With Delay in Milberg Case

The Recorder September 25, 2006

A federal judge asked prosecutors “how much longer” they were going to investigate before possibly bringing more charges against Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman. The firm has been accused of paying kickbacks to lead plaintiffs.

CALA Makes Hay Out of Milberg Money

The Recorder August 1, 2006

The pro-business group is calling on Bill Lockyer and other California politicians to return troubled firm’s past campaign contributions.

Milberg Replaced as Lead in Bayer Suit

New York Law Journal July 31, 2006

A judge kicked Milberg Weiss off as lead counsel for the $140 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund in a shareholder suit against Bayer, citing the criminal charges filed by federal prosecutors against the firm ( In Brief, fourth item).

Milberg Named Co-Counsel in Options Case

New York Law Journal July 25, 2006

Despite its indictment on charges of paying illegal kickbacks to class action plaintiffs, a New York judge said Milberg Weiss can proceed in a consolidated suit over stock options backdating.

Partners Continue to Flee Milberg

The Recorder July 24, 2006

The Lieff Cabraser deal is far from cemented, and edgy partners are continuing to drop off the Milberg Weiss masthead.

Milberg’s Partner Flight Continues

Legal Pad July 24, 2006

With a much-discussed merger deal with Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein on shaky footing, Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman is seeing a slow, steady parade of partner departures.

Congress Up In Arms Over Milberg

The Recorder June 26, 2006

Oh no, it’s the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises, and it’s got Milberg Weiss in its sights.

Lieff Cabraser Looks at Milberg Partners

The Recorder June 21, 2006

The San Francisco firm is talking to the indicted New York giant about picking up some of its partners � and their securities caseload.

Pamela Torkelsen Visits Milberg Grand Jury

Legal Pad June 15, 2006

The long-rumored cooperation of John Torkelsen’s wife in the Milberg Weiss probe was publicly confirmed when she showed up to testify in front of the grand jury in Los Angeles.

Ex-Partners Claim Capital, Fees

The Recorder June 12, 2006

Two former Milberg Weiss attorneys argue the firm dissolved two years ago and now want the unpaid compensation.

Judges Grapple With Milberg Indictment

Legal Pad June 12, 2006

In addition to the five L.A. federal judges who’ve now recused themselves from hearing the criminal case against the firm and its two main partners, jurists overseeing civil cases have had a range of reactions.

Three Top Partners Flee Milberg

The Recorder May 26, 2006

The class action titanic hit the iceberg of a DOJ indictment, and top partners and the associates below deck are fighting to get at the lifeboats. Melvyn Weiss isn’t surprised.

Attorney Poaches Wife From Milberg Weiss

Legal Pad May 26, 2006

For Whatley Drake partner Joe Whatley Jr., getting Edith Kallas to bring over her practice group from Milberg Weiss had an additional perk: Whatley now gets to work with his wife.

Report: Milberg Attorneys Desperate to Escape

Legal Pad May 26, 2006

No one’s surprised that Milberg Weiss is falling apart under the threat of an indictment; indeed, many plaintiff lawyers seem to think that’s the whole point of charging the firm.

Judge Drops Milberg Case, Citing Conflict

Legal Pad May 24, 2006

The sizable club of lawyers who want nothing to do with last week’s indictment of Milberg Weiss has gained a new member: L.A. federal Judge Dean Pregerson.

Lawyer Signs Deal to Sing About Milberg

The Recorder May 23, 2006

Federal prosecutors want to know what Richard Purtich knows about Milberg Weiss. Purtich wants to avoid being disbarred.

Milberg Firm, 2 Name Partners Indicted

The Recorder May 19, 2006

David Bershad and Steven Schulman, and the firm that ends in their names, were indicted Thursday by federal prosecutors for kickbacks in class action suits, despite attempts at a deal to avoid prosecution. Now … what about Bill Lerach?

What They’re Making at Milberg

Legal Pad May 18, 2006

Leaving aside the allegations of criminal conduct, today’s indictment of Milberg Weiss contains something else long hidden from public view: what partners there earn.

Milberg Weiss Weighs Nonprosecution Deal

The Recorder May 16, 2006

Pretty much any way you slice it � DOJ indictment or the strict conditions and costs of a nonprosecution agreement � the future is not bright for the embattled class action firm.

New Indictments Loom in Milberg Case

The Recorder April 6, 2006

Two partners are particularly of interest to prosecutors. They’re not Melvyn Weiss or William Lerach, the targets for six years now. But the new guys may be indicted within a month.

Lerach, Weiss May Not Face Indictments

The Recorder February 22, 2006

The two star lawyers in the class action kickback investigation won’t be charged by prosecutors anytime soon, but the investigation of their former firm’s conduct continues.

Lerach Probe Obstacle: Lawyers

The Recorder January 20, 2006

Everyone in the complex kickback investigation is a lawyer, and identifying illegal conduct in a tangled web of lawyer-client relationships ain’t easy.

Indicted Lawyer’s Firm Smelled Trouble

The Recorder January 3, 2006

A 12-year-old internal Best Best & Krieger memo worried that its handling of referral fees from the Milberg Weiss firm was legally questionable.

Torkelsen Deal Is 70-Month Term

The Recorder November 4, 2005

The former star expert for class action litigators may owe a fairly sweet plea deal in a business fraud case to his ability to help investigators pursue the former Milberg Weiss firm.

Complexity Slows Milberg-Lerach Probe

The Recorder October 28, 2005

A five-year kickback investigation of William Lerach and Milberg Weiss has resulted in little. Blame a methodical lead prosecutor and a bizarre cast of supporting players.

Charge Against Expert May Spur Probe

The Recorder October 10, 2005

John Torkelsen, a notoriously effective expert witness for Milberg Weiss in dozens of securities suits, is expected to plead guilty to reporting false information to a government agency.

Grand Jury Busy in Milberg Weiss Probe

The Recorder September 29, 2005

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have called the firm’s accountants and a former client to testify before a grand jury.

Flawed Fund Failed with Tech Economy

The Recorder September 16, 2005

John Torkelsen raised money for his tech-oriented venture fund from lawyers he testified for, but investigators say there were shady practices involved. When the dot-com boom went bust, so did all that.

Torkelsen Suits Could Reach Lerach Case

The Recorder September 16, 2005

John Torkelsen flew high as the top expert witness for securities class actions. Now that he’s under investigation for business fraud, former associates under separate investigations � Bill Lerach, the Millberg, Weiss firm � might be a little nervous.

Lerach Hunkers Down After Indictment

The Recorder August 15, 2005

He used to be quick to dismiss an investigation into whether he paid off some class action clients. Now William Lerach has hired lawyers and PR staff do the talking.

Colorful Ex-Lawyer Back in News

The National Law Journal July 8, 2005

Seymour Lazar, a former Palm Springs attorney best known for being a plaintiff in numerous class actions since 1976, allegedly received $2.4 million in “secret and illegal kickback payments.”

Is Lerach Firm True Target of Indictments?

The National Law Journal June 27, 2005

A federal indictment of two Southern California lawyers is most significant for who is not named: William Lerach and his former firm, Milberg Weiss.

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