X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The two Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman partners at the center of a federal probe into whether class action plaintiffs represented by the firm received kickbacks based on legal fees have taken leaves of absence. The firm announced late Monday night the leaves taken by David Bershad and Steven Schulman, praising both for their firm contributions. It has been widely reported for months that Schulman and Bershad face imminent indictments in the six-year kickback probe by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. The firm itself also faces possible indictment and, while prosecutors told attorneys for senior partner Melvyn I. Weiss earlier this year that he will not be indicted soon, he remains a target. In a statement released Monday, Bershad, who joined Milberg Weiss in 1968, said: “I am taking this step in the belief that my action will improve the firm’s chances to avoid unfounded charges that would be detrimental to our hundreds of hardworking employees and the hundreds of thousands of class members we represent.” The partners’ actions come as lawyers for the firm are trying to negotiate a nonprosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department that would stave off an indictment of the firm itself. Several lawyers close to the case told The Recorder, an affiliate of the New York Law Journal and Law.com, that discussions have heated up since prosecutors last month announced the cooperation of former plaintiff Howard Vogel and have centered on an agreement similar to the deals signed by KPMG and Time Warner in recent years. The firm, the attorneys said, would pay the government a large cash sum — probably in excess of $100 million — and agree to cooperate with the ongoing investigation. The firm also would agree to do business under restrictions imposed by the deal, likely to be monitored for years by an outside observer. Several lawyers familiar with the probe said such an arrangement is far from optimal for the firm. Aside from cost, they said, it would create awkward situations between targeted partners and partners cooperating with investigators, as well as thorny privilege issues. Indeed, even approving the agreement would require an upheaval within the firm because Weiss, Bershad and Schulman are the top rainmakers; deposing them would require a new group to assume power.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.