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Los Angeles-Both sides of the criminal investigation against Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman appeared formidable last week as nearly a dozen defense attorneys filled a Los Angeles courtroom. On July 17, a lawyer for Milberg Weiss and two of its partners, David Bershad and Steven Schulman, pleaded not guilty to charges that they obtained $216.1 million in fees by paying kickbacks to lead plaintiffs. Later that day, Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Axel outlined before U.S. District Judge John F. Walter more than a million pages of discovery, including Milberg Weiss’ bank records and pleadings in underlying civil cases. Herbert Stern of Stern & Kilcullen in Roseland, N.J., a lawyer for Schulman, told Walter that the amount of material “is quite daunting.” About a dozen defense lawyers lined the courtroom, including four for the firm, three for Bershad and two for Schulman. Bershad just retained Robert Luskin, a partner at Washington’s Patton Boggs who recently represented Karl Rove. Schulman’s team includes Gordon Greenberg of McDermott, Will & Emery, whose clients include Ross Perot Sr.

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