Now released from prison, the former class-action baron “declined to say whether he regretted his actions.” Weiss — once acclaimed as the plaintiff’s bar’s top spotter of financial fraud — also turns out to have lost a ton of money to Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. The report is balanced, and cites Michael Perino’s work finding evidence that Weiss’s lies to judges worked to his own benefit as opposed to that of class members. It also recalls the heated claims by Democratic U.S. Reps. Charles Rangel, Gary Ackerman, Carolyn Maloney and Robert Wexler that Weiss was being railroaded on political charges — before he admitted the scheme and pleaded guilty, that is. [Jewish Week]
According to the U.S. Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine, the litigation lobby is quietly preparing to push through a $1.6 billion (with a “b”) tax break that would let contingent-fee lawyers deduct expenses as made, rather than in the year of settling a suit. American Association for Justice lobbyist Linda Lipsen says Sens. Harry Reid and Max Baucus and Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Charles Rangel are among those on board, as well as “some Republicans”, but “the problem is there is not a tax vehicle yet,” — “You cannot have a stand alone bill to help lawyers … so we have to tuck it into something.” [cross-posted, and slightly adapted, from Point of Law; updates and additional links there]
- Pics of 50 of the strangest buildings of the world, some look as if Hobbits must live there [Village of Joy h/t @CoolPics] #
- Research drugmaker held liable for misrepresenting drug even though plaintiff took generic [Beck & Herrmann h/t @billchilds] #
- Rep. Rangel can’t find 1 law firm to sift his tax mess that isn’t conflicted (like by being his donor). [NY Post h/t @jeffnolan] #
- Pot/kettle award? RIAA, of kid- and grandma-suing fame, calls adversary vexatious [Kravets, Wired “Threat Level” h/t @VBalasubramani] #
- “Disabled” LIRR retirees also got free lifetime passes to state owned golf courses [A Blog for All] #
While the commentariat is gripped by discussion of whether Gov. Sarah Palin should have cut personal travel expenses only by 68 percent compared with her predecessor as Alaska’s chief executive, or by some higher amount, maybe it’s worth pausing a moment to note that the dean of New York’s Congressional delegation — and the most powerful figure in Congress in charge of tax legislation! — has just been caught not paying his taxes.
More: Turns out tax compliance is hard. Who knew?