Milberg Weiss defends class action conduct

New York law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman has been implicated in a lawsuit against a retired Californian lawyer accused of receiving at least $2.4m in illegal kickbacks from the firm in exchange .

Although Milberg Weiss, which is one of America’s most aggressive plaintiff law firms, is not a defendant in the indictment and is not named anywhere in the 70-page document, the firm has confirmed that it is the “New York Law Firm” referred to in the indictment,.

The indictment charges that the defendant Seymour Lazar and members of his family received illegally payment of part of the firm’s lawyers’ fees for serving as plaintiffs in more than a dozen class action and shareholder derivative action lawsuits filed by Milberg Weiss over a period of 20 years.

The US government further alleges that the money was frequently funnelled through a second defendant, Paul Selzer a lawyer in Palm Beach, named in the indictment.

In a statement Milberg Weiss said: “Although the indictment does not name Milberg Wiess, it unfairly implicates the firm in the wrongdoing alleged against Lazar. We are outraged that these allegations have been made against the firm and reject them as baseless.”

However, the statement also revealed that the firm “has cooperated with the government’s investigation, which has continued for more than three years”.

Milberg Weiss would not comment further.