Suit Filed Against Heller Shareholders

Some big news which technically won’t hit the presses until Monday, April 27th but is available online now: the class action group led by Blum Collins has filed suit against at least 179 former shareholders including Matt Larrabee.

Read the article in The Recorder here.

You may also access the complaint here: complaint-v-heller-shareholders


7 Responses to “Suit Filed Against Heller Shareholders”

  1. 1 Former Associate 27 April 2009 at 11:33 am

    Very interesting. If they can establish individual liability (either through some sort of alter ego/piercing the veil) or under the definitions of “employer” under WARN and/or California’s WARN, this could prove to be a fruitful source of recouping what we can’t get from the debtor itself. I imagine there are a lot of shareholders who are just now beginning to feel the sense of anguish that we’ve all been swimming in these last six months.

  2. 2 Blogrule 27 April 2009 at 4:37 pm

    The shareholders lost more than anyone else. They were not compensated a dime after August and they lost 100% of their capital –accumulated in some cases over 30 plus years. Like all employees, they too lost thier vacation, sabbaticals and did not receive severance or WARN Act monies. It’s simply dishonest to suggest that they have not suffered or have not been in anguish over this disaster.

  3. 3 Former SF Assoc 27 April 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Yes, but most shareholders, unlike many associates and staff, almost immediately went on to be paid big bucks at other major law firms. It was every shareholder for him/herself. Specifically, the IP Lit shareholders left knowing full well that they were putting the final nail in Heller’s coffin. Shareholders may have suffered somewhat, but not nearly as much as many, many non-shareholder employees. This fact cannot be highlighted enough. Boo-hoo– they didn’t make their $400k to $1mm+ a year between August and sometime in mid to late October. Cry me a frickin’ river. I’m glad to see that these shareholders may be held responsible for their actions.

  4. 4 Former SF Assoc 27 April 2009 at 5:18 pm

    And these shareholders did not lose more than anyone else. That’s absolute and complete BS. I’m sure none of them felt remotely close to how I did the day I woke up to find myself without health insurance living on state unemployment checks.

  5. 5 Former Associate 27 April 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Here, here. I also experienced a time with no insurance, having to buy my own at inordinately high cost, trying to live on unemployment, trying to find a job, and still not being able to make ends meet.

    Meanwhile, shareholders lost maybe two months’ of pay and their capital. Clearly the firm was undercapitalized to begin with if it could suddenly crater without being able to satisfy its obligations. I look forward to the DSI report outlining just when the firm became insolvent.

  6. 6 LA Staffer 28 April 2009 at 1:20 pm

    So while the partners were picking and choosing which associates they would take with them to their new firms – – how many took their secretaries? The support staff at HE are the best and were treated the worst!

  7. 7 Mr. Jones 28 April 2009 at 3:13 pm

    I actually agree with both sides here. The partners did lose the most – in absolute value. And I particularly feel bad for those associates who just made partner and had to ante up, many of them borrowing to do so, without ever getting a chance to ride that gravy train.

    However, it’s also true that very few of them were put in the same precarious position as many of the staff and associates. I still haven’t found a job, and if it weren’t for the fact that I now qualify for the subsidized state health insurance plan (at the very bottom of the income scale, no less) I wouldn’t have health insurance either.

    I don’t feel at all angry or vindictive toward the partners, many of whom I would consider my friends. However, if they are not doing their duty to me through the collections process, I can’t feel too bad about trying to recover the difference from their personal assets. Ideally, that wouldn’t be necessary – but things have been far from ideal.

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