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December 7, 2015

In the News Today – December 7, 2015

Sheldon Silver’s Victims: Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was found guilty last week of steering state grants to a cancer research center headed by Dr. Robert Taub, “who then steered patients toward the personal injury law firm Weitz & Luxenberg,” where “Silver reaped millions in referral fees.” One relative of a patient Taub referred to the firm recently said she was “convinced the law firm would’ve worked much harder for my father’s case if they weren’t giving Sheldon Silver the 33 percent.” Silver also “is believed to have wielded influence over New York City’s special court for asbestos cases – a setup critics say slanted the process against businesses facing off against Weitz & Luxenberg.” (Albany Times-Union)

“What About the Guys Who Bribed” Sheldon Silver? “Silver didn’t stuff his wallet at gunpoint, after all. The feds alleged that he had been hired by the tort-law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg to make it rain — that is, to apply the power of his office to steer big-bucks asbestos-litigation business.” While “Silver likely is headed to prison, Weitz & Luxenberg no doubt is shopping for another rainmaker.” (New York Post)

LRANY Calls for New York Legal Reforms: “First, the Legislature must move to reform the Scaffold Law. Second, we need to open up asbestos trusts to transparency. Under the current system, plaintiffs can recover millions from a trust and then file separate suit against a solvent company alleging a different set of facts. Since the asbestos trusts are private, any fraud is rarely discovered.” (Albany Times-Union Letter to the Editor)

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