Statement of Lisa Rickard, President of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, on today’s sentencing of Mel Weiss. U.S. District Judge John Walter sentenced Weiss earlier today to 30 months in federal prison and fined him nearly 10 million dollars for defrauding the legal system for more than two decades.
“Mr. Weiss and his former partner, Bill Lerach, also convicted in the same scheme, like to portray themselves as champions of the people. But no one should believe that either is a ‘Robin Hood.’
“For over 25 years, these two trial lawyers made a practice of paying people—in some cases literally under the table—to pose as lead plaintiffs in order to extract mega-dollar settlements. Their scheme benefitted themselves and their phony lead plaintiffs, at the expense of ordinary investors.
“It is time for Congress to investigate this scandal, look into the growing culture of greed and corruption permeating the plaintiffs’ bar, and repair confidence in America’s civil justice system.”
ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.