West Coast Partners of Milberg Weiss Form New Nationwide Firm

Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP to Continue to Prosecute

High-Profile Securities, Corporate Governance and Consumer Fraud Cases

May 03, 2004, 01:00 ET from Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP

    SAN DIEGO, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- William Lerach, Patrick Coughlin, John
 Stoia and Darren Robbins, four of the nation's leading securities and consumer
 attorneys, have formed a new nationwide law firm.  The new firm of 125
 attorneys includes 51 partners formerly with the west coast operations of
 Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP.  The new firm, Lerach Coughlin Stoia
 & Robbins LLP (LCSR), is headquartered in San Diego and has offices in Los
 Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Houston.
     LCSR will continue to represent institutional investors in numerous high
 profile securities cases including cases against Enron, Dynegy, Cisco,
 WorldCom, Qwest, Parmalat, AOL/Time Warner, AT&T, HealthSouth and the New York
 Stock Exchange and its specialist firms.  The firm also is prosecuting many
 important cases on behalf of consumers, including Allstate (credit scoring),
 Oxycontin (antitrust), Mass Mutual Life Insurance (market conduct litigation),
 and numerous racial discrimination cases against life and property insurance
 carriers. LCSR's team of attorneys includes dozens of former assistant U.S.
 attorneys, district attorneys, SEC enforcement attorneys, and other former
 prosecutors with decades of trial expertise.
     William Lerach founded the West Coast operation of Milberg Weiss almost 30
 years ago.  He has led the prosecution of hundreds of high-profile securities
 class and stockholder-related actions, which have resulted in recoveries of
 tens of billions of dollars and sweeping corporate governance reforms.
     "The new firm has an outstanding team in place. We're well positioned to
 continue advocating aggressively for investors and consumers alike," said
 William Lerach.
     Over three decades LCSR attorneys have won major victories, recovering
 more than $20 billion for injured investors and consumers, including:
     * Obtaining unprecedented corporate governance reforms as part of
       settlement agreements in the Sprint Corporation and Hanover Compressor
       securities litigations that go well beyond new Congressional mandates.
       These settlements established new independence standards, requiring
       board members to be independent from top executives.  Hanover Compressor
       agreed to rotate its auditors and give shareholders the right to
       directly nominate board members.
     * After a six-month trial brought by California consumers against Visa and
       MasterCard for charging hidden fees, the court ordered the companies to
       return $800 million, which represented 100 percent of the amount
       illegally charged plus 2 percent interest.
     * LCSR obtained a $1.027 billion recovery as co-lead counsel in a case
       charging that NASDAQ market makers manipulated the price spread. This is
       the largest antitrust recovery in history.
     * LCSR attorneys were responsible for billions of dollars in recoveries
       for defrauded life insurance policyholders who were victims of deceptive
       sales practices during the 1980s and 1990s.
     Patrick Coughlin, who is currently prosecuting the HealthSouth and Qwest
 cases, will continue to be the lead trial lawyer for LCSR.  Coughlin is
 responsible for the phase-out of the Joe Camel Campaign and a $12.5 billion
 payment to the cities and counties of California, along with a $100 million
 verdict in the Apple Computer securities case.  Prior to joining Milberg
 Weiss, Coughlin was a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. and San Diego
 handling complex white-collar fraud matters. Coughlin is also counsel in cases
 against AT&T and AOL/Time Warner.
     John Stoia leads the insurance, consumer and antitrust departments of
 LCSR.  Stoia, a former SEC enforcement attorney, was a member of plaintiffs'
 trial team that won a $3 billion trial verdict against Charles Keating and his
 co-defendants after the collapse of Lincoln Savings & Loan. Stoia has been
 involved in more than 50 nationwide class actions brought by policyholders
 against life insurance companies for deceptive sales practices.  Total
 recoveries in these matters exceeded $7 billion.  Stoia was lead counsel in
 McNeil v. American General Life Insurance and Accident Company, the first
 major settlement involving racial discrimination claims against life insurers
 which resulted in a $234 million recovery for class members.  Stoia is
 currently involved in numerous actions against variable annuity issuers
 relating to market timing and late trading activities in their funds and cases
 against the insurance industry for discrimination based upon the use of credit
     Darren Robbins will continue to lead LCSR's Mergers & Acquisitions
 practice group.  Robbins currently represents the lead plaintiffs in
 securities class actions involving several major energy companies, including
 Enron Corp., Dynegy, Inc., NorthWestern Corp. and FirstEnergy Corp.
     LCSR will also continue to work with Robert Monks, a pioneer in corporate
 governance who founded the Corporate Library and Institutional Shareholder
 Services.  Monks and his colleagues at Lens Governance Advisors will continue
 to counsel the firm as it seeks to obtain corporate governance changes through
 shareholder litigation. Attorneys at LCSR worked closely with Lens in
 structuring unprecedented corporate reforms as part of the Sprint Corporation
 and Hanover Compressor securities class action settlements.
     "Investors have been hit very hard by numerous recent corporate scandals.
 Institutional shareholders have an amazing ability to influence how companies
 are run and this firm is helping them realize that power," said Robert Monks.
     Please visit www.lcsr.com for additional information.

SOURCE Lerach Coughlin Stoia & Robbins LLP