Mere “pawn of counsel”

by Walter Olson on July 17, 2008

Class actions of the lawyers, by the lawyers, for the lawyers? To quote the Law.com summary: “A federal judge has rejected a proposed co-lead plaintiff for the Monster Worldwide securities fraud class action because the representative knew nothing about the case. Southern District of New York Judge Jed Rakoff had some pointed words for lead plaintiffs counsel Labaton Sucharow, saying the Steamship Trade Association International Longshoremen’s Pension Fund was ‘simply the willing pawn of counsel’ because it ‘has no interest in, genuine knowledge of, and/or meaningful involvement in this case.'” Judge Rakoff noted that pension fund co-chairman Horace Alston had represented himself under oath as the fund’s most knowledgeable person about the suit. “However, Mr. Alston then testified that he did not know the name of the stock at issue in this case, did not know the name of either individual defendant, did not know whether STA-ILA ever owned Monster stock, did not know if an amended complaint had been filed, did not know whether he had ever seen any complaint in the action,” leading Judge Rakoff to declare that he would “not be party to a sham.” (Mark Hamblett, “Lead Plaintiff Pick Rejected as Merely ‘Pawn of Counsel'”, New York Law Journal, Jul. 17).

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07.22.08 at 12:20 pm
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