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August 28, 2014

Justice Catches Up To “Shakedown Specialist” Tort Lawyers

According to an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal, plaintiffs’ firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd has been ordered to pay sanctions for fabricating evidence from a key witness in their securities fraud lawsuit against Boeing in 2009.

In the suit, the firm alleged that Boeing “withheld information about delays in producing the 787 Dreamliner that caused the company’s stock to fall.” The case hinged largely on a confidential witness whom Robbins Gellar claimed had insider knowledge of Boeing’s activities at the time.

Problematically for the plaintiffs’ lawyers—described as “shakedown specialists” by the author—the information supposedly supplied by the witness turned out to be “either incorrect or concocted by the plaintiffs attorneys, who filed the complaint before speaking to the witness.”

Robbins Geller’s key witness “disavowed nearly every statement the plaintiffs had attributed to him,” and was in fact not even an employee of Boeing, but rather a contractor who worked on an entirely different airliner.

Illinois federal Judge Ruben Castillo wrote in his opinion in the case that the witness’s “information turned out to be blatantly false.” The Judge has imposed sanctions against the firm, including legal feels that run into the millions.

Read the full article here.

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