The D&O Diary

The D&O Diary

A PERIODIC JOURNAL CONTAINING ITEMS OF INTEREST FROM THE WORLD OF DIRECTORS & OFFICERS LIABILITY, WITH OCCASIONAL COMMENTARY

Category Archives: Plaintiffs’ Bar

Subscribe to Plaintiffs’ Bar RSS Feed

Changes in the Plaintiffs’ Class Action Bar and the Changing World of Shareholder Litigation

Posted in Plaintiffs' Bar, Securities Litigation
The changing mix of corporate and securities litigation is a recent phenomenon on which I have frequently commented on this blog. While identifying the fact of the change is relatively straightforward, explaining it is more challenging. According to a January 11, 2012 article in The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation entitled “Shareholder Litigation After … Continue Reading

Book Review: “Circle of Greed” – The Rise and Fall of Bill Lerach

Posted in Plaintiffs' Bar
During his long and provocative legal career, former class action securities litigator and convicted felon Bill Lerach was a self-selected lightening rod for controversy. He taunted his foes, stalked his enemies, challenged convention, and in the process transformed himself into a larger than life figure.   And so when his legal career collapsed among revelations … Continue Reading

Plaintiff’s Securities Counsel: “Pay-to-Play” Practices?

Posted in Plaintiffs' Bar, Securities Litigation
The financial relationship between plaintiffs’ securities firms and the clients they represent has long been questioned, and not only because of the kinds of improper kickback payments for which Bill Lerach and Mel Weiss, among others, wound up in jail. Another practice that has raised recurring concerns is what is referred to as "pay-to-play" – … Continue Reading

$9 Million Missing, Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Takes the Fifth – O.K., That’s Not Good

Posted in Plaintiffs' Bar, Securities Litigation
Several of the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the Bisys Group securities lawsuit are concerned with the whereabouts of more than $9 million from the $65.8 fund established in connection with the settlement of the case.    As reflected in the transcript of the April 20, 2009 hearing before Southern District of New York Judge … Continue Reading

Judge Calls Plaintiffs’ Firm’s “Monitoring” Services “Shocking Conflict of Interest”

Posted in Plaintiffs' Bar, Securities Litigation
One of the recurring issues in securities litigation is the way the erstwhile class counsel and their clients, the prospective class representatives, come together. In what one federal judge described as a "blatant, shocking conflict of interest," it appears, from testimony at a recent lead plaintiff selection hearing, that the leading plaintiffs’ firms are providing … Continue Reading

Looking at Lerach’s Agreement to Plead Guilty

Posted in Plaintiffs' Bar
According to news reports (here), on September 18, 2007, Bill Lerach has agreed to plead guilty to a federal conspiracy charge. The plea agreement can be found here, the criminal information can be found here, and the governement’s press release can be found here. Hat tip to the WSJ.com Law Blog (here) for the links … Continue Reading

Bershad’s Plea Deal and What it May Mean

Posted in Plaintiffs' Bar
The agreement by now-former Milberg Weiss partner David Bershad to enter a guilty plea in connection with the government’s investigation of the firm’s alleged kickbacks to individual class plaintiffs represents a watershed event, not only in connection with the criminal investigation but also potentially for the Milberg firm and even for the plaintiffs’ class action … Continue Reading

Apple, The Big Apple, and “Pay to Play” Plaintiffs’ Lawyers

Posted in Paulson Committee, Plaintiffs' Bar, Regulatory Reform, Securities Litigation
In a series of recent editorials, the New York Sun has raised some interesting and troubling questions about a New York City’s pension fund’s involvement as lead plaintff in the Apple Computer options backdating securities litigation. The first Sun editorial on the topic, entitled "New York Versus Apple "appeared on January 25, 2007 (here). The … Continue Reading

Enron, Halliburton and the Milberg Weiss Criminal Investigation

Posted in Enron, Plaintiffs' Bar
Regular D & O Diary readers will recall my discomfort (as reflected here) with the Enron civil action plaintiffs’ leniency pleas on Andrew Fastow’s behalf at his September 26, 2006 sentencing. This week’s Fortune Magazine has an article entitled "Why Enron’s Fastow May Only Serve Five Years" (here), that explains how it came about that … Continue Reading

Comment on the “Milberg Effect”

Posted in Plaintiffs' Bar
On September 12, 2006, the Wall Street Journal carried an editorial entitled “The Milberg Effect,” (here, subscription required) commenting on the possible impact of the Milberg Weiss indictment on the decline in the number of securities lawsuits in 2006. (To see the Cornerstone Consulting data about the decline, refer here.) The Journal editorial incorporated a … Continue Reading

More Notes About the Milberg Weiss Indictment and the Declining Number of Securities Lawsuits

Posted in Plaintiffs' Bar, Securities Litigation
An August 4, 2006 Reuters article provides numeric support for the proposition, advanced in this prior D & O Diary post, that the declining number of securities fraud lawsuits is a consequence of the Milberg Weiss indictment. The article states that the indictment is "having a big impact on [the firm's] ability to bring fraud … Continue Reading

Declining Securities Lawsuit Frequency: A Cynical Explanation?

Posted in Plaintiffs' Bar, Securities Litigation
When the Cornerstone Research and the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse released their "2006 Mid-Year Assessment" earlier this week, the Report showed a 45% decline in the number of securities lawsuits filed in the first half of 2006 compared to the prior year period. According to the Report, the 61 securities class action … Continue Reading

News About (and From) Plaintiffs’ Lawyers

Posted in Outside Director Liability, Plaintiffs' Bar
According to Gerald Silk of the Bernstein, Litowitz, Berger & Grossman firm, options backdating is a "make-or-break issue." Silk is not talking about the interests of aggrieved shareholders –he means that options backdating is a really big deal for the plaintiffs’ bar. His comments appear in a July 24, 2006 article entitled "Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Jockey … Continue Reading