Milberg Weiss Partner Thinks It’s Time to Move

Looks like Milberg Weiss is losing its first partner since the news last month that two partners at the firm — and possibly the firm itself — could be facing imminent indictment by L.A. federal prosecutors. They’ve spent the past six years trying to indict the plaintiff securities firm and its former star partner, William Lerach (who in 2004 left to form his own firm in San Diego), on allegations that they paid illegal kickbacks to lead clients in securities class actions.

Lerach and Milberg’s lead partner, Melvyn Weiss, seem to be in the clear for the time being, but the Milberg firm’s future is cloudier. It’s not clear whether that has anything to do with New York-based Salvatore Graziano, a young partner but also a member of the firm’s executive committee, leaving for competitor Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman.

“The firm is growing, we have a lot of business, we’re fortunate,? Bernstein Litowitz managing partner Max Berger said Monday. “We had a need, and he’s a terrific lawyer.?

Graziano and Bernstein lawyers met through a class action they handled together, and Graziano — known more as a litigator than a client handler – built a relationship with his counterparts at Bernstein. Not that the two firms are strangers: San Diego-based partner Alan Schulman is a former Milberg Weiss bigwig — and was granted immunity years ago by L.A. prosecutors in exchange for his cooperation in the Milberg investigation.

Justin Scheck

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