MIlberg Looks North for New Business
Lereach's Former Firm Makes Case to Societe Generale Shareholders
The noted, and notorious, securities class action powerhouse is apparently focusing on Canada
when it comes to the development of new cases.
Labels: Canada, class action, Milberg, securities
Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
Class Action - The Week in Review
is seeking to include foreign shareholders
of the embattled Societe Generale in a class action suit against the bank, to be adjudicated in the U.S.
CSG&R is one of a number of firms that had been competing for to slot in the SocGen case. As of July 23rd, they won the day and will be act as lead counsel.
A Manhattan district court will ultimately decide whether foreign citizens can be included in the class, but CSR&G has had UK public relations firm, Byfield Consultancy
to drum up publicity abroad.
Labels: Byfield Consultancy, class action, Coughlin Stoia, Societe Generale
Broadcom CEO Henry Nicholas: Life of the Party
For your Friday reading pleasure, here's a run down of the week's happenings in the class action world
-coming to you via the Class Action Blaw
Labels: class action
Former Refco CEO Aids Investors in Lawsuit
I find it utterly shocking (shocking
, I say) that this piece of work
managed to "lose" $2.2 billion.
Labels: backdating, Broadcom, class action, Henry Nicholas, SEC
Legal Manuvering Precedes Class Action Feast
And the lion shall lay down with the lamb... According to attorneys at Bernstein Litowitz, they have had several productive conversations with former Refco CEO, Philip Bennett
and expect him to be more than helpful in the firm's pending representation of aggrieved Refco shareholders. Bennett, for his part, might be looking for some good karma considering that he is facing a little over 300 years in prison if convicted on all the charges he is currently facing. Bennett's sentencing is set for June 19th.
Labels: Bernstein Litowitz and Berger, class action, Phillip Bennett, Refco
Uphill Battle For Shareholder Suits
Parmalat Settles U.S. Class Action
Details on the Start of the Deutsche Telekom Investor Class Action
Securities Suits Up in March
The meal? Bear Stearns rotting corpse.
With the entré decided, all that remains to be seen is who will sit at the head of the table
Labels: Bear Stearns, class action
Did I Mention That it is a Bad Week for KMPG
And you can get all the gritty details
via Kevin LaCroix's D&O Diary
. While you're there, take some time to appreciate the great new site design.
Looks great Kevin!
Labels: class action, lawsuit, securities, Standford Securities Class Action Clearing House
The End of Milberg Weiss?
In addition to their more immediate woes, there is also the small matter of the $80 million hit
they'll pay to settle a class action lawsuit for their role in some decade-old questionable account at Xerox. Xerox itself will pay $670 million to bring an end of to the suit.
Labels: class action, KPMG, securities, Xerox
So, Bear Stearns...
Lerach Sentencing A Sign of Class Action Clean Up
With the guilty plea from firm patriarch, Melvin Weiss you know the talk of Milberg's demise is going to make the rounds, never mind that they still top the lists of securities class action firms over the last year. Still, if you're interested in what various persons of interest from around the legal world have to say about Milberg's future, this Portfolio article is your huckleberry
Labels: class action, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, securities
Bill Lerach's Former Firm Diversifies
Interesting comment from Stephen Bundy
, professor of law art UC Berkeley: "What you're watching is a bit of a transition from a world in which class-action practice did have some disreputable aspects to a different model that's much more responsible, publicly oriented and closely regulated..."More on the changing face of class action litigation, via the LA Times
Labels: Bill Lerach, class action, securities, sentencing
Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
University of Phoenix Parent Faces Nearly $300 Million Judgement in Shareholder Suit
, the firm formerly headed by the now awaiting sentencing, Bill Lerach, is broadening its base. Well known for their shareholder class action cases, Coughlin Stoia has announced the creation of a new litigation group focusing on patents.Details via The San Siego Tribune
Labels: Bill Lerach, class action, Coughlin Stoia, Lerach, patents, securities
Milberg Docs to Stay Protected
Lest you think that the Stoneridge verdict was a total game changer...here's a monster verdict
in a rare securities case that actually made it to a jury. Apollo Group is the corporate entity behind the ubiquitous internet advertizer, University of Phoenix. The "university" is one of the biggest and most notorious "distance learning" diploma mills around (325,00 students nationwide - PE has locations in 40 states).
At issue in the suit was Apollo's failure to disclose a 2004 probe by the Department of Education that accused University of Phoenix of illegally paying staff members based on the number of students they enrolled. For its part Apollo argued that disclosing the DOE report prematurely would have done unwarranted harm to shareholders. A jury found differently, determining that Apollo should bear responsibility for 60% of shareholder losses.
Labels: Apollo Group, class action, Phoenix University, securities, Stoneridge
This decision from Justice Eugene Nardelli
Biovail Buys it sWay out of Class Action Suit
and his fellows at the court of appeals stymies the efforts of super-star investor, Sam Wyly, who had been seeking access to documents from Milberg, along with several other major class action litigation firms, including Stull, Stull & Brody, and Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler. Wyly was after docs from Computer Associates class action, in which his interests were represented (he would, in fact, argue misrepresented) by the above firms. Wyly also has a legal malpractice case pending against the three firms in Manhattan's Supreme Court.
Labels: class action, malpractice, Milberg, Sam Wyly, Schiffrin Barroway, Stull Stull and Brody
Of the U.S. suit at least
The King is Dead, Long Live the King
, without admitting any wrongdoing and with no liability. A parallel Canadian suit is still pending, but the company claims to have that just about resolved as well.
Labels: Biovail, class action, securities, settlement
Ripples of Lerach Guilty Plea Reach Coca Cola Class Action
Bloomberg anoints Sean Coffey of Bernstein Litowitz as the new class action king
. BusinessWeek made a similar proclamation two years ago
. Suffice to say these guys (the folks who took down Worldcom, so respect) are probably seeing a few new opportunities come their way given the spectacular Milberg/Lerach indict-o-rama flameout.
Labels: Bernstein Litowitz and Berger, class action, Sean Coffey, securities
Securities Lawsuits Down
to prevent the certification of a class in the seven year old case? The defense is hoping so...
Labels: Bill Lerach, class action, Coca-Cola, securities
Spring Brings SEC Examination of Securities Class Action
Yes I know that USA Today
is a paper practically written in crayon. Still you might find this story on the decline in securities litigation somewhat interesting
. Of course, if you keep up with your Stanford Securities Clearing House
press releases, you'd already know that their July Mid-Year report shows filings well below the historical average.
Labels: class action, Making fun of USA Today, securities, Standford Securities Class Action Clearing House
The WSJ has details on the upcoming securities lit round table at the SEC
The American Lawyer Wonder Where the Security Class Actions Have Gone
. Chairman Christopher Cox has committed to a meeting on class action litigation reform for the first quarter '08, according to the Journal. Obviously this is a subject on the minds of many given the recent travails of class action kings, Bill Lerach and Melvyn Weiss
It is worth noting that Cox was a co-author of 1995's Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
, the most sweeping recent regulatory measure effecting securities litigation. He also, as a reminder, broke with the Bush Administration
in asking that the Justice Department's Solicitor General support the right of former Enron shareholders to pursue compensation from third parties.
An interesting enigma is our Mr. Cox. He was seen as a very pro-business pick when appointed
and many we're declaring that an end to big business reform was nigh, but Cox has carved out some very respectable middle ground over the course of his tenure. That probably means ain't nobody happy
, but such is the nature of compromise.
Labels: Bill Lerach, Christopher Cox, class action, Melvyn Weiss, SEC, securities
Standing Up for Sarbanes Oxley
Good read from Andrew Longstreth over at Law.com
... And for all the current stats on securities litigation, you know you can count on the Stanford Securities Class Action Clearing House
Labels: class action, Lerach, Milberg, securities
In Defense of Milberg Weiss
It is Larry Ribstein week here at The Daily Caveat
. Scroll down a few posts and you'll see a link to details of Ideoblog
author, Ribstein's upcoming paper questioning the legitimacy of the ongoing prosecution of class action firm, Milberg Weiss on racketeering charges (strange bedfellows, indeed).
Just by accident (thank you Fintag
), today, I ran across an article well worth reading
in which author Heidi Moore namechecks Ribstein, an avowed (like really
avowed) opponent of Sarbanes Oxley. Moore's article is a detailed defense of the controversial SOX act. Moore endeavors to puncture many of the common criticism of SOX. Does she succeed? Decide for yourself.
Labels: class action, corporate governance, SOX
Milberg's Schulman Continues to Battle Charges Against Him
Now there's a topic you don't see in the papers everyday... Noose tightening seems to be the general approach. However, some folks are stepping up to at least entertain the notion that perhaps these trumped up, politically motivated charges against the firm deserve further interogration. Ideoblog's Larry Ribstein
is just such a fellow. Check out the WSJ's Law Blog for details
on an upcoming paper from Ribstein and George Mason professor Bruce Kobayashi
that looks to interrogate the government's case against Milberg. And if you're not reading Larry's blog
on a regular basis, well, you should be.
Labels: class action, Ideoblog, Milberg, WSJ
Stonridge Reckoning For Securities Industry
Steven Schulman, one of the former Milberg Weiss partners facing charges in the ongoing probe of the firm, continues to pursue the dismissal of charges against him. While his former firm talks plea deal, Schulman has expanded his motion seeking a dismissal of charges against him.
His most recent filing addresses the charge of "honest services fraud" arguing that the government's definition is vague and arbitrary. Schulman is also attempting to pick apart the charges of mail fraud and failure to perform his fiduciary duty. Whether he's successful, we'll know in time. Law.com has further details on Schulman's legal maneuverings.
Labels: class action, indictment, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, securities, Steven Schulman
Stoneridge v Scientific-Atlanta
Bush Administration, SEC at Odds Over Enron Shareholder Suit
- what The Economist is calling the most important securities litigation clash in a generation
. The SEC's has come out in favor of investors
, the President not so much. What will ultimately happen when the Supreme Court gets involved, although their predilection (in the court's current incarnation) for siding with business is not exactly a secret, is anyone's guess. But they ARE guessing
. And guessing
. And guessing
Labels: Bill Lerach, class action, securities, Stoneridge
Best Buy Attorney Caught Altering Documents in Class Action
The Bush administration has opted not to second the SEC's supportive position
regarding a pending class action lawsuit
that has former shareholders of defunct energy trader, Enron, pursing several investment banks for damages arising from their role in obscuring Enron's house of cards.
The SEC had asked for a brief of support to be filed by the Justice Department's Solicitor General Paul Clement. As of Monday's deadline, no such amicus brief had been filed by the DOJ and no support, at this point is expected. Not entirely surprising given the cozy relationship between Enron and the current administration
In fact President Bush (who The Daily Caveat usually avoids discussing) chimed in with his own comments on the case
, which gave a hint which way the winds were blowing at DOJ. The President decried the notion of unnecessary
lawsuits, which we can assume to include those brought by Bill Lerach
The SEC had voted at a 2 to 3 margin to support the suit, with Bush appointee, SEC Commissioner Christopher Cox
siding with two democrats in support of the case. The U.S. treasury has taken the opposite stance, arguing that the case could set a precedent that would harm U.S. Competitiveness.
For more on the conflict between the Justice Department and the SEC, check out this article from the China Standard
Labels: accounting fraud, Bush administration, class action, Enron, investment banks, Paul Clement, Stoneridge
Amgen Gets Love Letter From New York AG
File this under evil empire - consumers are suing Microsoft and Best Buy for being forcibly (and covertly) signed up to trials of Microsoft MSN's internet service in the course of making purchases at Best Buy.
Microsoft, in turn paid Best Buy a fee for every subscriber signed up.
This alleged shady practice got a lot shadier when Best Buy attorney, Timothy Block, was forced to admit that he altered emails and a company memo
before turning the documents over to plaintiffs. Naughty, naughty...
The lawsuit agaisnt Mircosoft and Best Buy was filed in 2003 and involves over 100,000 Best Buy customers. The attorney in question has been put on Medical leave and the case has been paused while Best Buy locates new counsel.
Labels: Best Buy, class action, Microsoft, shady
Better Day For Milberg, Tyco Settles for $3 Billion
is latin for love, right?
In any case, Amgen was on the receiving end of a compelling request from the New York Attorney General's office
According to a recent SEC filing the May 10th letter sought wide ranging documentation from the pharmaceutical company, including: data on the company's sales and marketing, medical education, clinical studies, pricing, contracting, licensing and distribution agreements as well as corporate communications.
Amgen is already facing class action litigation
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. , alleging securities fraud.
Labels: Amgen, class action, New York AG, securities, subpoena
Microsoft challenges plaintiff attorney Fees in Iowa Class Action
We've covered some of plaintiff firm, Milberg Weiss's travails
this week as it continues to struggle through an ongoing investigation into kickbacks the firm offered to repeat lead plaintiffs. But there are brighter spots for the firm, one being the recent $3 billion settlement of a class action lawsuit brought against Tyco International
Tyco is of course the famous former home of bad-boy CEO, Dennis Kozlowski. The Milberg-led class action (co-led by Schiffrin, Barroway, Topaz & Kessler) was brought in 2002 on behalf of several pension funds who suffered losses as a result of the fraud at Tyco.
Labels: class action, Dennis Kozlowski, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Schiffrin Barroway, securities, Tyco
Shell Pays $340 Million to Settle EU Class Action Suit
But really, what's an extra $500,000 amongst friends?
Wait...so you're not friends
Labels: attorney fees, class action, Microsoft, plaintiffs bar
European Firm gets the Lead Plaintiff Nod in Dell Fraud Class Action
Royal Dutch Shell will make a massive, multi-million dollar settlement payment
to over 50 European institutions in relation to Shell's downgrading of their oil reserves in 2004. According to the terms of the settlement Shell has already faced more millions in fines relating to their mis-reporting and several execs, including former company chairman Sir Philip Watts, lost their jobs over the fiasco.
The Shell settlement represents the largest class action settlement in Europe's history
. It has been reported that Shell plans to offer a similar settlement to affected investors in the United States, but that may refer to the distribution of the millions in fines the company has already paid to the SEC on the reserves restatement matter.
Labels: accounting fraud, class action, Royal Dutch Shell, settlement
Union Asset Management Holding AG
Milburg Indictment Results in Meta Class Action
will be the lead plaintiff in the forthcoming class action lawsuit filed against computer-maker, Dell. Motley Rice
, a South Carolina law firm, is representing the union. If you are keeping score, Lerach Coughlin
did submit a petition for lead counsel but was rejected... The complaint against Dell alleges that several of the company's C-suiters manipulated earnings and enriched themselves by selling off stock at inflated prices before the fall.Further detail on the Dell litigation can be found here
. Also, check out this article
which provides many details on allegations against Dell that appear in in the Lerach complaint.
Labels: Bill Lerach, class action, Dell, Motley Rice, Ontario Securities Commission
Lerach Rebuffed on Lead Counsel Slot for Comverse Class Action
According to this newswire
, attorney Theodore A. Bechtold is looking for takers amongst former Milberg-led class members for a case pursuing possible violations of duties owed to them in cases led my Milberg.
This feels sort-of like when you stand between two mirrors and it creates infinity...
Labels: class action, Milberg Weiss, Milburg, securities, Theodore Bechtold
Apple Stock Option Class Action Has a Lead Plaintiff
Now don't go reading anything into this
... Eastern District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufi simply observed that Lerach Coughlin's client, the Plumbers and Pipefitters National Pension Fund
did not have the largest financial interest in the pending securities class action against telecom co., Comverse (who provided us a few months of blog-fodder when its CEO, Kobi Alexander turned fugitive).
Instead, Judge Garaufi granted lead counsel status to Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross
, which is representing Menorah Group, which was determined by the court to have suffered the greatest losses.
Labels: Bill Lerach, class action, Comverse, Kobi Alexander, securities
Supreme Court to Tighten Securities Class Action Standards?
The New York City Employees' Retirement System has the honors.
And in related news, has Steve Jobs been meeting with the Feds
Labels: Apple, backdating, class action, securities, stock options
Securities Lawsuits Drop to Record Lows in 2006
They'll apparently get the chance when they hear the appeal of Tellabs, Inc.
, a telecom manufacturer
facing allegations that it fraudulently inflated revenues at the expense of shareholders. Further info on the case and the potential impact of the Supremes can be found here
, care of the Chicago Tribune
. You can also view the Tellabs case docket here
Labels: class action, Milberg, securities, Tellabs
More Details on Lerach Lawfirm Removal from Halliburton Litigation
The Stanford Securities Class Action Clearinghouse
and Cornerstone Research
have released their 2006 year in review. Most anyone reading here is probably already familiar with the group's work, but if not, here's the nugget: they track the prosecution, defense, and settlement of federal class action securities fraud litigation.
So, how did the industry fair in 2006? According to the SSCAC, securities suits have fallen to an all time low (well, ok, they are one suit off of the 1996 pace) since the adoption of the Public Securities Litigation Reform Act was adopted in 1995. The SSCAC attributes this drop to a combination of strong Federal enforcement and a relatively stable stock market. You can read the full report here
Check the tagged posts below to track back on the SSCAC's recent reports (as well as rebuttals), or just check out their website
, where you'll find all manner of helpful tools for the data junkie.
On a potentially better note for plaintiff firms and their clients, a recent report from NERA Economic Consulting
found that that class action settlements paid by corporations to shareholder plaintiffs rose by 37% in 2006. NERA also tracked the decline in securities class actions and it may be interesting to compare their numbers
Labels: class action, securites, Stanford Securities Class Action Clearing House
The Daily Caveat mentioned in passing
Nortel Reaches Multi-Billion $ Settlement in Fraud Suit
several days ago that Lerach Coughlin, home of the Wall Street Journal's favorite litigator, Bill Lerach, had been removed from upcoming securities fraud litigation against Halliburton. The client in that case, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Supporting Fund Inc., has since given more details
on the removal of Lerach's firm as well as co-lead counsel, David Scott of Scott + Scott, linking the switch directly to the continuing indictment against Lerach's former firm, Milberg Weiss. As was previously mentioned, DC uber-attorny David Boies has picked up the reins of the case.
Meanwhile Milberg and the plaintiff's bar in general are bracing for what some are calling the trial of the century
Labels: Bill Lerach, class action, David Boies, Halliburton, indictment, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, securites
Techdirt on Bank IPO Class Action Ruling
And yea the shareholders were very pleased, as Sean Coffey
had once again brought them to the promised land
Labels: Bernstein Litowitz and Berger, class action, Nortel, Sean Coffey
And why they think, in this case, rejection was the right
move for the courts...
What are we talking about? Well, it goes something like this... Back in a mystical time we call the dot com boom
, there were lots of shady practices from internet-based companies that had a URL, a superbowl ad and not much else in the way of prospects for success. In turn, securities class action firms experienced their own boom, filing case after case, chasing busted dot coms on behalf of their investors (and boy, as a young investigator it was fun to be in the thick of it).
Another issue arising from this era has been the allegedly questionable conduct of the Wall Street bankers behind many of these IPOs. It has been suggested that they manipulated the prices of these public offerings in order to reap great monetary benefits for themselves on the backs of myriad small investors who got caught in their double-dealing wake.
There have been some individual settlements relating to this issue, but another suit had been working its way forward, in which the most of the biggest Wall Street banks would have had their dirty laundry aired. Earlier this month, plaintiffs received a serious setback
when a Federal Appeals Court ruled that several of the 310 conglomerated cases that are part of the potentially massive class action were wrongfully given "class" status.
While this doesn't mean the case, which is being led by embattled plaintiff firm, Milberg Weiss is dead, it is a certainly substantial setback for one of the longest running class actions kicking around the courts. So why does TechDirt say this is all so much the better? Find out
Labels: class action, IPO, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, securites, Techdirt, Wall Street