It is not often you see a prominent law professor sue a prominent law firm and its famous founders.
Professor Phillip Bobbitt is the name plaintiff of a proposed class suing Milberg (formerly Milberg Weiss) and several individual attorneys for malpractice. Bobbitt is on the faculties of both The University of Texas School of Law and Columbia Law.
The WSJ Law Blog found this one and noted that it comes in the same week as news of the University of Miami professor’s suit (since dropped) against Above the Law.
The Complaint says that Milberg missed deadlines for designating experts and expert reports in the underlying class action. The class action plaintiffs who purchased a deferred annuity contracts from Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company; that complaint alleged that the company violated federal securities laws and that the products they were sold resulted in the “investors paying additional fees without receiving any additional tax benefits.”
While the facts might not be the makings of a soap opera, the players are. Bobbitt is a constiutional theorist and international security expert who has served as a special advisor to every US president from Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton. He is also the nephew of Lyndon Johnson and splits his time between Austin, New York and a swanky flat in London. The New York Times called his last book, Terror and Consent, “quite simply the most profound book to have been written on the subject of American foreign policy since” the end of the Cold War.
It also just so happens he looks a lot like Richard Gere on his best day. He’s pictured here from an appearance on Charlie Rose.
Milberg Weiss, became Milberg, of course, after one of its name partners ran into some legal trouble. As the complaint notes, Mel Weiss may be served at a Miami corrections facility, where he is currently completing a prison sentence in a Florida half-way house. Weiss, a wildly successful class action attorney, agreed to plead guilty to a scheme that involved making hidden side payments to firm class action clients.
The complaint names various other attorneys from Milberg and other firms who worked on the underlying suit. Milberg told the Law Blog the suit is without merit.
Malpractice suits against notable firms always raise eye-brows in the legal industry — the gossip factor for this one will be high, even if the underlying case lacks sex appeal.
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