Mr. Class Action: Mel Weiss and Bill Lerach
Wall Street Class Action - Forbes Magazine Article: Mr. Class Action
Street Financial Channel" News Story:
A recent Forbes Magazine article entitled "Mr. Class Action" characterizes Melvyn Weiss as "grizzled and intimidating" while painting William Lerach as a "flamboyant, sharp-elbowed showman." Question: what does sharp-elbowed mean? How does one get sharp-elbows? In this first sentence you might get the impression the story was about a traveling sales troupe. Nothing could be further from the truth when the next Forbes sentence declares them to be "the cochairmen of one of the most feared law firms in the nation." In addition Forbes states "Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach have bullied corporate America out of $30 billion in damages." An unusual choice of words; bullied. It only takes one company to "bully" all of corporate America? One could almost get the sense they are trying to say "bilked" corporate America. The real story is that corporate America "bilked" large and small investors alike and are being made accountable by Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach and there is much more to come. The full Forbes story can be found at: www.forbes.com/
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Of course they have earned large fees but it seems as if the industry standard of around 30-40% (see Forbes article chart) should only apply to small law firms doing workers compensation claims and the operative word here is earned. (When Onasis was asked why he sold oil tankers he replied because "that's what costs the most.") In many cases the corporate defendant's legal delaying tactics result in years going by before a settlement can be reached while legal business expenses must be "fronted" by the legal firm. The real issue is, now that corporate America has been "caught," how can they minimize the fiscal damage? One way would be for corporate America to "lobby" congress to place a "cap" on class action lawsuit rewards or move the cases from consumer-friendly state courts to Federal jurisdiction apparently in an attempt to regulate attorney fees. Republicans want to enact a "Class Action fairness Act." By not allowing the attorneys involved to be paid by percentage or to have fees regulated by the government, companies facing charges of wrong doing might not face so formidable a foe as Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach. No one works for free nor should that be expected of them. (an exception is attorneys and their pro bono work) Fact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach won settlements in excess of $6 billion USD from Swiss banks and Germany, and did so pro bono!
We ask the sobering question: Who would be large enough to "take on" the job of policing corporate America (Worldcom, Enron, Prudential, Martha Stewart etc) with an eye toward the protection of investors and consumers? The aforementioned Forbes article quotes rival (read "less qualified competitor facing his own criminal action.") lawyer Howard Sirota as saying, "Mel Weiss is manipulative, deceptive and ruthless." "he works 25 hours a day at getting more--more money, more power." (Read "competitive sour grapes.") The Forbes article quotes that federal Judge John Sprizzo in the Martha Stewart case warned Weiss to "avoid intimidating his rival lawyers." This is similar to an umpire telling Babe Ruth to "stop hitting so many home runs because it is intimidating the other team's hitters." The bottom line is who do you want protecting your money and fighting for your rights? If corporate America is not taught a lesson (read "heavy fines and jail time.") the abuses of corporate greed will continue. The 55 companies involved in the IPO lawsuit represent hundreds of billions of dollars.
Motive? HOME PAGE FOR THE WORLD'S BUSINESS
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach but these investigations are reportedly "costing us a fortune in reputation as other law firms tell institutional investors not to hire us." -Mel Weiss.
Click Here: to view Forbes list of companies and the $billions paid in fines so far. How many companies can afford to pay $50 million in fines and still stay in business? To whom were these fines paid? Regulators? Investors? Just who received these monies?
mutual fund scandal will be the greatest in Wall Street history."
--Mel Weiss Click Here