In 1998, the class action plaintiffs’ firm Milberg Weiss filed sued Computer Associates for violating the federal securities laws by lying about its revenues in order to increase its stock price. In a perfectly unremarkable development, it was appointed co-lead counsel of the consolidated class. (Various firms had filed a total of eleven complaints.) Over the next four years, the pressure on Computer Associates mounted. Thirteen more complaints were filed, and the US Attorney’s office (EDNY) and SEC launched a joint investigation of the firm.

So Computer Associates decided to settle the case. After seven months of mediation with … Continue Reading

On Tuesday, I provided a brief review of the Lerach biography Circle of Greed. Today, I want to focus on what some of the stories about Lerach can reveal about the psychology of the class-action plaintiffs’ lawyer.

I freely concede that this is about as unscientific an inquiry as one can make. For better or for worse, William Lerach was an extreme case. (He was extremely successful plaintiffs’ lawyers, but the extremes he went to also landed him in jail for two years.) So, many plaintiffs’ lawyers may have some of these characteristics, but likely not to the same … Continue Reading