On Friday, March 24, 2006, Thomas Gentile, a partner at the 15-lawyer West Orange, N.J.-based trust, tax and estate boutique of Lampf, Lipkind, Prupis & Petigrow, filed a shareholder class action against most of the same defendants that Biovail had named in its state court RICO suit the previous month. The class action appeared to be an effort independent of Biovail, but as the proceedings before Judge Richard Owen illuminated, Gentile had help from Biovail and its outside lawyers in drafting the suit he filed. A lot of help.

Before the Biovail shareholders complaint, Gentile testified, he had never filed a securities class action in his 10-year career. His foray into the field began in early 2006, when he was having lunch with Bruce Nagel of Nagel Rice, a lawyer Gentile had worked with in the past. Nagel, who was serving as local counsel to Biovail in its RICO case, told Gentile that he might have a referral for him. When Gentile followed up, Nagel told him to call Albert Mishaan, a partner at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman.