The new job landed by former New York Supreme Court Judge Herman Cahn has raised from eyebrows. Less than a year ago, Cahn awarded millions in fees to founding partner Melvin Weiss despite his guilty plea in a massive fraud case. The firm, once called Milberg Weiss, wanted to let Weiss keep the fees and it was Cahn who agreed to the payment.
The federal government alleged a 30-year kickback scheme involving three partners Melvyn Weiss, David Bershad and Steven Schulman. Cahn’s ruling contradicted a general rule that law firms are barred from sharing legal fees with nonlawyers — Weiss was no longer a practicing lawyer. It was called The Milberg Double Cross at the time. The ruling allowed Weiss to potentially receive millions more than the money he forfeited as part of his criminal plea.
Notably, despite the huge size of the case and award, this particular case was left off of the firm’s recounting of the career of their new “distinguished” partner.
Cahn attracted some attention on the bench for refusing to recuse himself from cases brought by his son’s law firm.