William S. Lerach Esq.
June 2005: "WILLIAM S. LERACH is widely recognized as one of the leading securities lawyers in the United States. He has headed the prosecution of hundreds of securities class and stockholder derivative actions resulting in recoveries for defrauded shareholders amounting to billions of dollars. Mr. Lerach has been the subject of considerable media attention and is a frequent commentator on securities and corporate law, as well as a frequent lecturer. He represents numerous public and Multi-Employer pension funds in corporate securities matters."http://www.lerachlaw.com/lcsr-cgi-bin/mil?att=upload.175&templ=bio.html
June 2007: While the exact reasons behind Mr. Lerach’s abrupt and surprising career considerations remain unclear, it suggests that a long-running criminal investigation into allegations of kickbacks paid to class-action plaintiffs has gained momentum.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/01/business/01law.html
July 2005: THREE months ago, William S. Lerach, the powerful class-action attorney both feared and loathed in executive suites across the country, received a disturbing call from his lawyer. Federal prosecutors, Mr. Lerach was told, wanted more time to build a criminal case against him.http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/17/business/yourmoney/17tort.html
November 1999: The Silicon Graphics case had been filed in January 1996 by plaintiffs' attorney Bill Lerach. It accused company executives of misleading investors by overstating the company's financial prospects. It also accused the executives of profiting from their alleged lies by selling millions of dollars worth of company stock.http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1999/11/19/MN33FIN.DTL
November 1999: Investors, mutual funds and pension funds lost tens of millions of dollars. Bill Lerach and other plaintiffs' attorneys sued White and other company officials for securities fraud and insider trading.http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1999/11/16/MN21TUE.DTL
November 1999: The legislation came too late for Richard Lerach, who was relegated to selling metal parts for the rest of his days. But for his youngest son, William, it would provide the means for a career of wealth and notoriety, one that would ultimately earn him the sobriquet ``prince of darkness'' -- and a law firm draw last year of more than $16 million.http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1999/11/15/MN18SIL.DTL
June 2005: "Reports of the grand jury investigation of Milberg Weiss, some of whose partners have close ties to the Democratic Party, were aired in the news media in early 2002 just as one of its top lawyers, William Lerach, was taking the lead in the Enron litigation."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/24/AR2005062401620.html
Role Name Type Last Updated Supporter of (past or present) Democratic Party / Democratic National Committee (DNC) Organization Jun 26, 2005 Opponent (past or present) Nucorp Energy Organization Jul 27, 2006 Supporter of (past or present) Financial Supporter of (past or present) President William ("Bill") Jefferson Clinton Person Jul 27, 2006 Opponent (past or present) Prof. Daniel Fischel Esq. Person Jul 27, 2006 Opponent (past or present) Alan F. Shugart Person Jul 27, 2006 Colleague/Co-worker of (past or present) Melvyn I. Weiss Esq. Person Jul 27, 2006
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Jun 01, 2007 Top Lawyer, Under Fire, May Depart
QUOTE: While the exact reasons behind Mr. Lerach’s abrupt and surprising career considerations remain unclear, it suggests that a long-running criminal investigation into allegations of kickbacks paid to class-action plaintiffs has gained momentum. What makes the potential departure of Mr. Lerach particularly shocking is that it would come just as he is engaged in his most high-profile case to date...
New York Times Jul 20, 2005 Morgan Stanley sued over payments to former execs
QUOTE: William Lerach, a prominent class-action lawyer whose past actions are under federal criminal investigation, filed a lawsuit... against Morgan Stanley's board. The lawsuit charges that the directors breached their fiduciary duties by letting two top executives walk out the door with more than $100 million the lawsuit says they didn't deserve.
USA TODAY Jul 17, 2005 Robin Hoods or Legal Hoods?
QUOTE: Though Mr. Lerach and Mr. Weiss are not named in the indictment either, both are clearly embroiled in a wide-ranging investigation, the outcome of which is likely to influence how all plaintiffs' lawyers practice, as well as the potential civil penalties for corporate wrongdoing. As a result, the inquiry has reignited heated debates about the tort system, debates that have come to a head in recent years.
New York Times Jun 30, 2005 Payback Time for Bill Lerach?
QUOTE: The king of shareholder lawsuits against Silicon Valley firms may be caught up in a federal probe of allegedly improper payments to plaintiffs
BusinessWeek Jun 25, 2005 Lawyer Accused of Being a Paid Plaintiff: Federal Probe Leads to Kickback Charges
QUOTE: Federal prosecutors here have charged a retired Palm Springs, Calif., lawyer with taking kickbacks from a prominent New York law firm in exchange for serving as plaintiff in dozens of class-action and shareholder lawsuits that earned the firm $44 million over 20 years.
Washington Post Nov 19, 1999 BEYOND THE LAW: As the SEC attempts to crack down on improper accounting, a recent federal court ruling threatens future investor lawsuits
QUOTE: The chairman's ``Numbers Game'' speech in September 1998 was the opening volley in the SEC's vaunted campaign against improper and sometimes fraudulent financial reporting in corporate America. And dozens of the most prominent companies in Silicon Valley were among the agency's targets. But Levitt and the SEC would soon discover just how difficult it is to crack down on the financial abuses thriving in Silicon Valley -- and just how powerful high-tech executives have become.
San Francisco Chronicle Nov 16, 1999 Hollow Words: Federal prosecutors say white-collar crime is a priority, but they have filed only a few charges against Silicon Valley executives
QUOTE: ...the rising number of class-action suits shows that fraud is rampant in the high-tech industry....the U.S. attorney's office has done little to deter securities fraud in Silicon Valley, filing criminal charges against only a handful of high-tech executives the entire decade.
San Francisco Chronicle Nov 15, 1999 PHANTOM RICHES: Beneath the glitter of booming Silicon Valley, executives have been accused of lying about their products and doctoring their books, leaving devastated investors in their wake
QUOTE: ...tens of thousands of investors like him have filed lawsuits accusing Dawson and other Silicon Valley executives of securities fraud, insider trading and legal and ethical misconduct.
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