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The Wall Street Journal of today (Jan. 13) states that some business interests are criticizing the role of San Diego law firm Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins in the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Byron Georgiou, who is "of counsel" to the firm, is one of the ten commissioners. Christopher Seefer, a partner, is on leave to serve as a senior staffer of the commission. The law firm itself and its partners are well qualfied to investigate the collapse of the financial system, in my opinion, but business pressure groups are pointing out that the firm has dubious connections. It was formerly named Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins. That was after the breakup of the firm Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, which had headquarters in New York and San Diego. The major partners were Melvyn Weiss in New York and William Lerach in San Diego. The firm, known for aggressive tactics in lawsuits against corporations, broke up and Lerach launched the Lerach Coughlin firm. But then Weiss and Lerach pleaded guilty to participating in a kickback scheme with clients at Milberg Weiss, and both were sentenced to prison. Lerach's name was, of course, dropped from the Coughlin Stoia firm.

Georgiou is a prominent Democrat, having served as legal affairs secretary to Gov. Jerry Brown. In 2008, he donated to presidential candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards, as well as to a group of senators and Nancy Pelosi.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 13, 2010 @ 9:47 p.m.

Lerach is getting out of the Big House in less than 2 months, maybe they can recruit him to be a commissioner on the panel.

Weiss is set to be freed in 3 weeks, mayb both can contribute!


Don Bauder Jan. 13, 2010 @ 10:49 p.m.

Response to post #1: I don't know that Weiss and Lerach are speaking. The firm's breakup was an ugly one. I had a story in the U-T -- maybe in 1999 -- that Milberg Weiss had sued one of its own clients. It was a major failure to do homework and was one factor in the New York/San Diego split. If you google "Don Bauder" you can still find that story. Best, Don Bauder


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