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LOS ANGELES � Milberg Weiss has joined motions to dismiss several federal criminal charges as settlement talks between the firm and prosecutors reportedly broke down. Milberg Weiss, along with former partners Steven Schulman and David Bershad, face charges of obtaining more than $200 million in attorney fees by paying kickbacks to named plaintiffs. Earlier this month, Bershad agreed to forfeit $7.75 million, pay a $250,000 fine and plead guilty to a conspiracy charge in the case. Schulman, along with named plaintiff Seymour M. Lazar and his Lazar’s former lawyer, Paul T. Selzer, filed several motions to dismiss the charges against them in recent months. In recent weeks, lawyers for Milberg Weiss had been in settlement talks with prosecutors. Those talks fizzled after prosecutors sought an admission of wrongdoing from the firm as part of the deal, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal. On July 23, Milberg Weiss joined several motions to dismiss the government’s charges. Among them are Schulman’s motion to throw out claims of violating New York’s commercial bribery statutes and allegations that plaintiffs were paid for their testimonies. The firm also joined Schulman’s motion to dismiss several mail fraud counts. Milberg Weiss also joined Seymour Lazar’s motion to dismiss the indictment as duplicitous, meaning the alleged conspiracy, which ranged from 1981 to 2005, was, is, in fact, separate schemes involving three different plaintiffs. William Taylor III, a partner at Washington’s Zuckerman Spaeder who is representing Milberg Weiss, declined to comment.

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