Judge Refuses to Remove Milberg Weiss
Posted Jun 18, 2007 6:31 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A federal judge in New York has denied a motion to removed indicted law firm Milberg Weiss & Bershad from a pending securities class action.
Judge Shira Scheindlin said the firm and the co-lead plaintiffs have spent years and several million dollars on the case, the New York Law Journal reports. She said she “takes seriously the presumption of innocence afforded to defendants until proven guilty.”
Scheindlin also required the lawyer who made the request, Theodore Bechtold of Brooklyn, to submit class-wide communications or press releases for court approval before he issues them.
The judge said the limit was justified by Bechtold’s history of personal animus against the firm and his conduct in the litigation. Bechtold had solicited clients in press releases, asking them to contact him about the litigation or about Milberg Weiss to discuss their legal rights. He had also submitted an ex parte communication to the court, Scheindlin said.
An indictment accuses Milberg Weiss of paying plaintiffs to serve as lead counsel in class-action litigation.