Monday, June 02, 2008
Lawyer Ordered to Pay $9MM
As a current victim of lawsuit abuse, I really really don't like people who use the legal system the way Don Corleone used Luca Brazi. So when I read that Melvyn Weiss was sentenced to 30 months in prison, and a $9MM fine, for his role in an alleged scheme in which he and his partners used kickbacks to gain an advantage in lucrative cases, I was happy. A great picture of his 'I'm sorry face', as he said to the court, "My contrition is profound and genuine." I'm sure he is very sorry...he is going to jail for 30 months.
But the article also noted that Mr. Weiss was able to produce 275 letters in support of leniency, meaning, in effect, Mr. Weiss still has sufficient status and power to make a lot of otherwise good people to totally rationalize his reprehensible actions on account of the fact that ... he's rich, and he might be able to get my daughter an internship someday. Everyone on that list is a toady. And why shouldn't he be so respected, as from 1983 to 2005, according to a government filing in the case, Mr. Weiss's share of firm profits was about $209.9 million. Rich=Good, except when you are running for president, or writing your memoirs, when it's best to brag about your parents being from the working class.
So, make $209.9 million scamming the system, pay $9MM and spend 30 months in jail. I don't think that's justice. It reminds me of this woman who made $20MM in PIPES, and was breaking the rules, selling short before she should have. Anyway, she paid $2MM in fines and was banned from the industry for 2 years. That's hardly a disincentive.
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Those people may not have been toadies. They may have been grateful he won them money.
Our society is too litigious and we need some tort reform. But most of these Personal Injury and/or Class Action lawyers start off by convincing themselves they are helping the little guy. Most of them don't start out corrupt. What's my point? Not sure.
Maybe we shouldn't generalize just because one pig got his head stuck in the feeder.
Just gotten back to reading your blog recently, and I remember the last time I was on, you were blogging about your trade secrets law suit. Like many of your blog visitors, I'm hoping that things have worked out ok on that front!
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