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The resignation of one partner and the rumored departure of a second have shaken up the two-partner Boca Raton, Fla., office of leading national class action firm Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach. At the same time, a partner and an associate in the firm’s New York headquarters have confirmed they are leaving Milberg Weiss to help a South Florida firm establish an outpost in the New York area. Kenneth Vianale, who joined Milberg in 1995 and helped open the firm’s Boca Raton office in 1998, has given notice and expects to be out within 120 days. And Milberg’s other partner in Boca Raton, Abraham Rappaport, is also leaving the firm, according to a source familiar with the situation. Reached in New York, Milberg Weiss co-founder Melvyn Weiss refused to comment about Rappaport’s possible departure. But he confirmed Vianale’s departure. Maya Saxena, who was recently promoted from associate to partner in the firm’s Boca Raton office, declined to comment on Rappaport’s future with the firm, but said the firm “would have an announcement on that soon.” Rappaport could not be reached for comment. Several calls to his office were not returned before deadline. Weiss said Jan. 9 that he has “a lot of confidence” in his firm’s Boca Raton office, which has seven attorneys. Vianale, who was a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York before joining the firm, plans to start a two-lawyer practice with his wife, Julie Vianale, who has a solo practice with offices in Milberg’s building in Boca Raton. “I’ve practiced law for 18 years,” Ken Vianale said. “It’s time I had my own name on the door.” A spokeswoman in the firm’s New York office confirmed that partners Samuel Rudman and Keith Fleischman and associate David Rosenfeld will be leaving the firm. Rudman and Rosenfeld will be opening an office in Melville, N.Y., in Suffolk County, for the Boca Raton class action firm Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, according to a Cauley Geller spokesman. Rudman will be a partner at the soon-to-be renamed Cauley Geller Bowman Coates & Rudman, where Rosenfeld will be an associate, the spokesman said. Fleischman had served as a federal prosecutor in Connecticut before joining the Milberg in 1992. Rudman had been a staff attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission before joining the firm in 1994. Rosenfeld is an accountant as well as an attorney. Fleischman, who had been a member of the Milberg New York office’s management committee, told the Miami Daily Business Review his departure was amicable. “This is the longest time I’ve been on one job,” he said. “I’m ready for new adventures.” Weiss said that Saxena would be taking over some of Vianale’s duties at the Boca Raton office. She will have temporary assistance from Michael Spencer, a senior partner in Milberg’s New York office, as well as occasional help from Weiss himself, who has a Boca Raton residence.

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