Nathan Koppel reports today in the WSJ that Milberg Weiss partners "had a meeting at the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles to discuss terms of a possible deal" and that possible terms "included Milberg’s paying a fine and agreeing to increased oversight of its business practices." Mr. Koppel also notes that "a settlement deal, if finalized, would allow the firm to remain in business, according to a person familiar with the firm."
The late history of Milberg Weiss reminds Blawgletter of the ancient tale of Icarus. In 1996, Congress tried to rein in securities fraud class actions by passing, over a veto, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Milberg Weiss, even then a prolific filer of such cases, capitalized on the PSLRA’s preference for appointing institutional investors as class representatives by getting lots of institutional investors to hire it. The firm’s share of securities cases soared — contrary, we imagine, to congressional hopes.
Like Icarus, with his waxy wings, Milberg Weiss may have flown too close to the sun. Will assertive ambition have a different result this time? We shall see.