The embattled securities class-action law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman received some political backing late last week with the release of a statement signed by four Democrats from the House of Representatives condemning last month's indictment of the firm on criminal charges.Is it a surprise that some prominent Democrats are coming to the defense of the embattled law firm Milberg Weiss? Open Secrets.org reveals that the firm has given money exclusively to Democrats. In fact, according to that invaluable resource, nearly $1.5 million for 2001/2002 or more than $2 million in soft money through 2003, was given to Democrats, while the GOP received not a single dollar. These same politicians also received funds from the American Trial Lawyers Association.
"The Justice Department's crusade against trial lawyers, the first line in the average citizen's protection against corporate greed, has taken a new low in the indictment of an entire leading law firm in the plaintiffs' bar," said the statement, which was released Friday.
The statement was signed by three representatives from New York — Charles B. Rangel, Carolyn McCarthy and Gary L. Ackerman — and Robert Wexler from Florida.
One of the founders of the law firm, Melvyn I. Weiss, who was not indicted but remains a target in the continuing investigation by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles, is a high-profile fund-raiser for the Democratic Party.
Lo and behold, one of the indicted partners, David Bershad, gave money to Rep. McCarthy, who signed the letter.
Curiosities abound. Democrats claim a witchhunt, and the Times doesn't mention that among those who received money from the firm and its lawyers was one of the Congressmembers who signed the letter.
Meanwhile, trying to move this case forward is difficult because the firm was involved in so much litigation that finding a judge who was not involved in any proceedings is quite difficult. Five judges have already recused themselves.