Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Liaison Free

Now think about it. Why does lead counsel need to have an appointed local counsel? Oh sorry, liaison counsel, excuuuse me. Everyone really must be more careful with their word choices. What’s next? Forgetting the Grey Poupon? But seriously, you don’t get your investigators appointed, or your forensic accountants, and nothing in the PSLRA requires the appointment of local counsel. Most importantly, surely you, as formidable lead counsel, don’t need to have the Court appoint liaison counsel. And think about the nightmare when you try and fire -- sorry -- transition -- them should you ever be in such an unfortunate position. Don’t you want to be able to do that without bothering someone appointed by the President of the United States? OK, well, at least think about it, and check out this view from Judge William L. Standish (W.D. Penn.), who rejected the appointment of local -- man, this is difficult -- liaison -- counsel in the IT Group (now Shaw Group Inc) securities class action.

"No resume is provided for Chimicles, nor is there any description of that firm's proposed duties as liaison counsel in either the brief in support of the Renewed Motion or in the proposed order. As Judge William H. Walls has noted, qualified lead counsel should surely be capable of performing the ministerial tasks typically assigned to liaison counsel (e.g., advising lead counsel on local procedural matters, coordinating administrative matters, distributing communications between the court and other counsel, convening meetings of counsel, and advising parties of developments in the case.)" "In fact, several of the ministerial duties identified by Judge Walls are explicitly assigned to co-Lead Counsel in the proposed order. In the absence of an explanation of why liaison counsel are required or what their duties might be, the Court declines to appoint Chimicles & Tikellis to that role."

You can read Clair v. DeLuca, issued January 26, 2006, at 232 F.R.D. 523.

Nugget: "When Miller Shea brought in Lionel Glancy, Mr. Glover ‘was overjoyed’ because he recognized this name from reading financial publications as an attorney who dealt with ‘significant class action cases.’"

Disclosure: No local counsel in any locality were harmed in the drafting of today’s article.

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