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Trial Lawyers As Part of the Solution to Wall Street Greed: A Radical Concept?

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Jonathan Cooper
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In a blog posted lasted week, Matt Miller floats a radical suggestion to recover those obscene bonuses that were paid out by Wall Street firms who had just taken billions in U.S. taxpayer aid: hire a class action trial lawyer who will take the case on a contingent fee.

William Lerach, who would have been the natural choice to lead the charge, is unfortunately unavailable to take this case because he is currently in the middle of a two-year prison term. But that doesn't mean the idea doesn't have merit. In fact, the blog cites Mr. Lerach's lengthy and detailed response of how such a case would work - the U.S., in one form or another, may actually have standing to bring such a suit against the various banks and their boards of directors. And although there may be some procedural and substantive challenges that would need to be surmounted, he believed that the cases would still be worthwhile, if for no other reason than to serve as a potent deterrent against similar conduct by these financial institutions moving forward.

While it is unclear whether this particular tactic would work, one thing is fairly certain: it certainly stands a greater chance of success than trying to "shame" these bankers into ethical behavior.

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Jonathan Cooper
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