Circle of Greed is the epic story of the rise and fall of Bill Lerach, once the leading class action lawyer in America and now a convicted felon. For more than two decades, Lerach threatened, shook down and sued top Fortune 500 companies, including Disney, Apple, Time Warner, and—most famously—Enron. Now, the man who brought corporate moguls to their knees has fallen prey to the same corrupt impulses of his enemies, and is paying the price by serving time in federal prison.
If there was ever a modern Greek tragedy about a man and his times, about corporate arrogance and illusions and the scorched-earth tactics to not only counteract corporate America but to beat it at its own game, Bill Lerach's story is it.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Circle of Greed|
|Release Date: 03-02-2010|
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Circle of Greed
William S. Lerach first heralded himself to the elite circles in America's legal community in 1977, from the sterile downtown county courthouse on Front Street, a few blocks from the old waterfront in San Diego. The setting was Superior Court Judge JamesL. Focht's nondescript courtroom; the case, Barr v. United Methodist Church. By the time it ended, class action litigation (a single legal action on behalf of many plaintiffs against common defendants) would never be the same in California. And ultimately thevictorious lawyer would see to it that no corporate entity within the United States would be invulnerable to outside scrutiny.
No U.S. church denomination had ever been the subject of a successful class action lawsuit. The unfolding case owed its drama not only to the legal precedents at stake, or to the conflicted feelings among the litigants themselves (pious Methodists andretired ministers who found themselves suing their own denomination) but also to the intensely personal competition between the rival attorneys.
The Methodists' lead lawyer was Samuel W. Witwer, Sr., a barrel-chested eminence whose regal presence and mane of silver hair all but announced his wealth of experience. The son of a steelworker, Witwer was born in 1908, the year William Jennings Bryanran for president the third and last time. Like Bryan, Witwer came out of the Midwest, his reputation proceeding him like a billowy cloud: Harvard Law, class of 1933; lay leader in the Methodist Church; and then lawyer, who after five decades of futile effortsby others succeeded in reforming Illinois's antiquated constitution. The "Father of ...