David J. Bershad, a name partner at securities plaintiffs law firm Milberg Weiss & Bershad, has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he conspired in the payment of illegal kickbacks to individual class action plaintiffs.

The guilty plea by Bershad, entered Monday afternoon in federal court in Los Angeles, raises the stakes for his co-defendants, former fellow name partner Steven G. Schulman and the Milberg Weiss firm itself, as well as the other major Milberg Weiss figures, Melvyn I. Weiss and William S. Lerach, who have so far escaped indictment.

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