“I would specifically like to know if I am your ‘client’ according to your records,” Charles Chalmers asked in a May 28, 1998, e-mail to Barrack, Rodos & Bacine, a Philadelphia law firm that specializes in filing securities fraud class actions.

He didn’t get a yes or no answer. But meanwhile, Barrack, Rodos was busy putting him forth as a “lead plaintiff” in a class action that settled without his knowledge, input or consent.