Sheldon Silver

Professor critical of Preet Bharara's behavior after Sheldon Silver arrest is friends with former speaker's lawyer

Pace Law School Professor Bennett Gershman, a former prosecutor who has been critical of the U.S. attorney who brought charges against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, has been linked to one of Silver’s lawyers by the New York Daily News.  Gershman and Silver’s attorney Joel Cohen are former colleagues and long-term friends, and they have co-written news commentary together.  Gershman has accused U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's of “grandstanding” through comments to the media and other groups.

Retired Judge Tied to Sheldon Silver Finally Replaced

New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) Judge Sherry Heitler -- who reinstituted punitive damages reportedly at the request of the Weitz & Luxenberg asbestos plaintiff firm with ties to Sheldon Silver -- is stepping down more than two months after her term expired. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Peter H. Moutlon will lead NYCAL. Heitler's court is being investigated for allegedly giving Silver's former law firm special treatment. In this court, dozens of asbestos lawsuits were filed by Weitz & Luxenberg, where Silver was ʺof counselʺ and received $5.3 million in what federal prosecutors say were kickbacks, and many of these cases tried before judges connected to Silver. Over the last four years, the firm made $273.5 million of the $313.5 million awarded by NYCAL juries in 15 mesothelioma verdicts. Courts spoikesman David Bookstaver denied the claims.

After Silver -- ending ambulance-chasers' rule of New York

Tomas Stebbins criticizes New York's legal system on many fronts. Regarding asbestos, Stebbins notes, "Even in the specialty courts, the game is rigged in favor of the plaintiffs’ lawyers. As reported in The Post, the New York City Asbestos Litigation court is far out of line from the rest of the country — consolidating wildly dissimilar cases and handing down verdict awards that are over twice the national average. And the largest law firm practicing before that court is none other than Weitz and Luxenberg, the very firm that paid former Speaker Silver millions, according to the indictment. We need far greater transparency into the NYCAL.... Silver’s exit is a historic opportunity for reform. It’s time our elected officials — especially our new Assembly leadership — showed us that they work for the people, not the trial lawyers.

$3M asbestos scam at heart of Silver scandal shows trial lawyer abuses continue

Reporter Mark Tapscott observes that for all the media frenzy around Assemblyman and former Speaker Sheldon Silver's federal indictment, little attention is being paid to this Silver case illustrating how, even with a number of major plaintiff lawyers going to jail in recent years, buying plaintiffs and other related abuses remain common tactics in personal injury lawyers' class-action lawsuits. Tapscott notes that while Perry Weitz of the Weitz & Luxenberg asbestos law firm that paid Silver was shocked about the payments to Silver, the notorious and now jailed plaintiff lawyer William Lerach had claimed buying plaintiffs is standard practice.

NY political scandal highlights competition for asbestos cases

The Sheldon Silver scandal and connection to asbestos plaintiff firm Weitz & Luxenberg highlights the intense competition for clients that causes millions in monthly asbestos ad spending. The prominent competition for asbestos clients is seen in TV ads across the country and throughout the day and night.Silverstein reports that while drug and device injury ads declined in December 2015 mesothelioma injury ads werre up 15 percent. Asbestos injury ad spending was higher than injury advertising on the top 11 drugs targeted by plaintiff lawyers. In December the asbestos ad spend totalled nearly $5 million for 6500 TV ads!


Sheldon Silver, Former Assembly Speaker, Is Indicted

Former Assembly Speaker Silver was formally charged with a three-count indictment on February 19th in federal court in Manhattan. Judge Valerie Caproni will be hearing the case, related to asbestos kickbacks and other activities.


'Bribery Pawns' Join 'Perjury Pawns' In Asbestos Litigation Concerns

With the NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver indicted, Sara Warner observes that the persons injured by asbestos were kept in the dark about the bribery and kickbacks.  She adds, as the Wall Street Journal's Ashby Jones noted,  patients were referred by a doctor receiving $500,000 in state funds because of Silver.  Familys of plaintiffs would have been surprised to discover that expenses deducted from settlements include paying a doctor $1,750 per hour, plus other lavish travel expenses.

In Silver Case, U.S. Cites Link to Litigation Tied to Asbestos

The timeline of alleged payoffs involving New York State Assembly Speaker Silver's role in an asbestos litigation scheme involving referrals, kickbacks, a major New York law firm and Dr. Robert Taub. Diagrams of alleged corruption are provided.


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