Monday, October 10, 2005

Will a Former Expert Witness Turn on Milberg Weiss?

John Torkelsen, who served as an expert witness for Milberg Weiss in a number of class actions on issues related to damages, may become a witness against the firm now that he appears to have entered into an agreement with the government to plead guilty to a charge of giving false information to the SBA.  Torkelsen lost most of his credibility as an expert when it was revealed a few years ago that he received contingent fee payments from attorneys for securities class action plaintiffs, a definite no-no for an expert witness, and his guilty plea may result in him providing information about the practices of Milberg Weiss and former partner William Lerach in a scheme to make secret payments to named plaintiffs in cases.  While the investigation of Milberg Weiss and Lerach continues, the longer it goes on, the more the alleged misconduct starts to bump into the five-year statute of limitations.  A story in The Recorder (available on Law.Com here) discusses Torkelsen's plea and possible cooperation. (ph)

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