Benchslaps, Bernstein Litowitz, Comverse, Milberg Weiss, Options Backdating, Plaintiffs Firms, Richard Lowe

Milberg Weiss Death Watch: The Last Throes

Sometimes a dying person twitches and convulses violently before finally biting the big one. Such is the case with Milberg Weiss, which is showing a few final signs of life. The New York Law Journal passes along this good news for our favorite class-action complaint assembly line:

A New York judge has given a boost to Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman by appointing the embattled law firm co-lead counsel in a consolidated suit over stock-option backdating….

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Lowe said in a decision dated July 13 that the firm’s indictment had no bearing on its ability to handle a batch of derivative suits on behalf of individual investors in voicemail software company Comverse Technology, Inc., whose top executives allegedly enriched themselves by almost $400 million by repricing stock option grants.

In addition, in a catty footnote, the judge took a swipe at Bernstein Litowitz, one of the firms that tried to replace Milberg Weiss as lead counsel:

Justice Lowe also said in his footnote it was “disingenuous” for Bernstein Litowitz to raise the issue of Milberg Weiss’ indictment and its impact on the Comverse matter “since the attorney representing LSERS [Bernstein’s client] was himself a partner at Milberg Weiss, a member of its Management Committee, and was at Milberg Weiss when this action was commenced.”

The judge was referring to Salvatore Graziano, who announced plans to leave Milberg Weiss in March.

There are few things more fun to watch than scrappy plaintiffs’ lawyers going at each other’s throats. Milberg Weiss and Bernstein Litowitz deserve each other.
NY Judge Backs Indicted Firm for Spot in Backdating Case [New York Law Journal]

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