Melvyn Weiss, founder of the famous (or infamous) plaintiffs’ firm Milberg LLP, and the man who put the “klass” in class action litigation, landed in hot water back in December when cops pulled him over on suspicion of driving under the influence.
The 77-year-old lawyer was still serving out the last couple months of probation stemming from his 2008 guilty plea for paying kickbacks to lead plaintiffs. Now the judge is calling Mel Weiss back into court to figure out what to do about this violation of Weiss’s probation.
But in the meantime, we can get a giggle out of the alleged details of Weiss’s arrest….
Weiss was arrested on December 19 in Boynton Beach, Florida (because of course this happened in Florida):
This morning’s arrest affidavit says a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy was travelling south in an unmarked vehicle on Interstate 95, near Boynton Beach Boulevard. The deputy said in the report that he saw a dark-colored SUV speed by his vehicle. He accelerated and began to clock the SUV’s speed, which registered at 90 mph in the 65 mph zone. The deputy continued to follow the vehicle, which switched lanes several times and often drove in two lanes at a time.
The deputy then tried to make a traffic stop, and although the siren lights flashed, the driver of the SUV drove on for about another mile before stopping, the report says.
I was disappointed when Disney World eliminated Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, but apparently they just moved the ride to Boynton Beach. Failing to notice the cop car behind you for a mile certainly strengthens the case of driver impairment. I wonder how Weiss planned to talk his way out of this?
According to the arrest report, Weiss had a passenger in the car and told an officer he had had one drink and was coming from a golf club. “The driver’s speech was slurred and his eyes were red and glossy,” the arrest report says. Weiss later said that he’d had two drinks.
Ah, “one drink,” the “just the tip” of DUI arguments. You know why cops never buy that claim? Because no one has “one drink.” Alcohol doesn’t taste good enough to justify drinking without achieving the accompanying buzz. Weiss amended his claim to two drinks. His blood alcohol level was 0.13 and 0.14. Maybe he drank two pints of Gem Clear.
“The defendant stated he had a law degree when I asked his level of education,” the arrest report says. “The defendant correctly recited the alphabet from ‘A’ to ‘F.’ He then said ‘H,I,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,S,X,U,V,W,S,I,C.’ He then said ‘my mind is not as good as it was.’ The defendant appeared confused during the alphabet and tried several times to correct himself.
I like the “S-I-C” at the end; it’s almost as though Weiss wanted the record to reflect that he was reciting the alphabet incorrectly.
After being arrested, Weiss asked an officer from the back of his patrol car: “Why are you doing this to me, what did I do that was so wrong?” and “You know I am on probation.”
He also said “Do you know who I am?” and “Pretty well known person” before falling asleep in the patrol car, according to the arrest report.
“Pretty well known person.” Aww, Mel still thinks it’s 2006.
U.S. District Judge John Walter has called Weiss back into court on May 3 to discuss this violation. Weiss was scheduled to complete his probation on February 5. Weiss has admitted violating the terms of his probation. Judge Walter could return Weiss to prison for this transgression.
Maybe Weiss should hire Mark Heller, because representing LiLo makes Heller the nation’s most experienced drunken probation violation attorney.
Famed Attorney Melvyn Weiss Faces DUI Charges After Traffic Stop In Boynton Beach [Palm Beach Post]
Melvyn Weiss’s DUI Arrest Could Mean His Return to Prison [National Law Journal via Am Law Daily]