You all remember Fink is counsel that tried to strip all of our rights as Sirius Shareholders. With my pending case against he and his Firm RUFlaw.com and press like this I hope to see Mr. Fink removed from the CA Bar and then put behind bars. Tyler refresh our memory with Brockwell vs Sirius. I would like to see Mr. Brockwells diggs again!
SEPTEMBER 27, 2008 Suit Against J.P. Morgan Is Dismissed
Judge Describes Origins of Case as 'Scandalous'By NATHAN KOPPELArticle
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A federal judge has dismissed a securities suit against J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., calling the origins of the case "scandalous," according to a Sept. 19 ruling.
The suit, filed earlier this year in New York federal court, alleges that J.P. Morgan officers improperly understated the bank's exposure to subprime-mortgage-related assets. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote dismissed the suit out of concerns about the validity of the plaintiffs' backgrounds.
The ruling comes in the wake of the recent Los Angeles prosecution of plaintiffs' law firm Milberg Weiss, now known as Milberg LLP, which entered a settlement in June admitting that it paid kickbacks to serial plaintiffs from 1979 through 2005 in exchange for their filing securities class actions. The J.P. Morgan case does not involve kickback claims, but it does raise questions about the connections between the plaintiffs' attorneys in the case and their clients.
The J.P. Morgan litigation was brought as a so-called derivative suit, in which a shareholder or group of shareholders typically sues a group of officers or directors on behalf of the company itself. Plaintiffs, by law, cannot bring derivative suits unless courts first determine that the plaintiffs can "fairly and adequately" represent other shareholders' interests.
Robbins Umeda & Fink LLP, of San Diego, which was the lead plaintiffs' counsel in the matter, initially filed the suit on behalf of James Shroff, an elderly Arizona man who, even after his case had been filed, had not met his attorney in person, according to the opinion. When Judge Cote raised questions about Mr. Shroff's adequacy, the Robbins firm declared that Mr. Shroff had decided to withdraw because of time constraints. After ordering Mr. Shroff to be deposed, the judge learned that he was not aware of the basic nature of a derivative action and that he had backed out of the suit because he believed it lacked merit.
"But for this court's inquiries, this scandalous situation may never have come to light," the judge wrote.
Jeffrey Fink, a partner with the Robbins firm, said his firm and the plaintiffs did nothing wrong. In August, the firm was replaced as lead plaintiffs' counsel by a New York law firm, which said it wouldn't appeal the decision.
In place of Mr. Shroff, the Robbins firm later selected Robert Garber, a Pennsylvania lawyer who had hired the Robbins firm in three other derivative suits in the last three years. After ordering that Mr. Garber, too, be deposed, Judge Cote learned that Mr. Garber had served as a plaintiff in about 25 other suits against companies and that he generally could not recall basic information about those cases.
In dismissing Mr. Garber's suit, Judge Cote wrote that professional plaintiffs are apt to be mere pawns of plaintiffs' lawyers, who may make "decisions based on their own financial interests" rather than the interests of shareholders.
Mr. Garber's experience in litigation is a benefit, Mr. Fink said. "It's better to have a more experienced plaintiff than a novice," he said.
Write to Nathan Koppel at [email protected]