Court Rules On Solicitation Dispute In WorldCom Case

As previously reported in The 10b-5 Daily, Milberg Weiss and Bernstein Litowitz are in the midst of a dispute over the recruitment of individual bondholders to bring securities fraud claims against WorldCom and related parties. Bernstein Litowitz, who represents the lead plaintiff in the main investor action against WorldCom, has complained in a series of submissions to the court that Milberg Weiss provided “misleading solicitations” to WorldCom bondholders suggesting that they would not obtain a fair share of any settlement obtained in the main investor action and should bring their own individual actions.
Yesterday, District Judge Cote issued an opinion & order concerning this matter. The court found that Milberg Weiss has engaged in an “active campaign” to encourage pension funds to file individual actions and is running the individual actions as “a de facto class action.” Moreover, the firm’s communications have resulted in “some confusion and misunderstanding of the options available to putative class members.”
The court ordered that a separate notice (in addition to the normal class certification notice) be sent to each plaintiff who has filed an individual action, with the initial draft to be written by Bernstein Litowitz. The requests for relief made by Bernstein Litowitz in its November 4 submission to the court were denied, but leave was granted for the firm to bring a formal motion on the subject.

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Filed under Lead Plaintiff/Lead Counsel, WorldCom

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