Legal Pad shouldn’t be surprised Bill Lerach mustered hundreds of letters pleading with Los Angeles federal Judge John Walter to spare the plaintiff kingpin an inordinate jail sentence on Monday. The writers, all touting Lerach’s generosity and kind spirit, ranged from the famous to former employees, opposing counsel and his housekeeper.
And Ben Stein?
Indeed, the former Nixon speechwriter/Ferris Bueller intoner/smarty pants Comedy Central game show host said Lerach was an invaluable source when he wrote for Barrons in the 1980s. “It would not be an exaggeration to say that I learned more about law from Bill Lerach than I learned in my three years at Yale Law School,” Stein wrote.
Also making an appearance in Lerach’s sentencing memo: Ralph Nader, who called Lerach’s contributions to shareholders “singularly significant.”
“Until now, I have not written a letter asking a judge to be lenient in sentencing a defendant,” said the consumer advocate/perennial presidential headache. “I do so today because of the unique contribution William Lerach has made to our society and to the practice of law.”
Our other favorite letter writers include Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), CalPERS general counsel Peter Mixon, and even one of Walter’s former colleagues from the Central District bench, Dickran Tevrizian.
“[I]n sanctioning Mr. Lerach with the appropriate sentence, I trust you will punish the individual and not just the crime,” Tevrizian wrote.
No sign of Lerach pal President Bill Clinton…or is there? Lerach’s list of letter writers, submitted in alphabetical order, contains two redacted names in between Gordon Churchill and Charles Cohen. Our imagination runneth wild… (Yours can, too. Look at this .pdf, page two.)
— Dan Levine