Unnamed Class Member Could Not Bring Separate Suit for Disgorgement of Attorneys' Fees

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Nine months after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas approved a fee application in the In re Enron class action litigation, plaintiff Michael Brown, an unnamed member of the class, brought a new action in the same court, asserting claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty against Thomas Bilek and his law firm, seeking disgorgement of the $16 million in attorneys’ fees awarded Mr. Bilek for his work in the litigation. In the Enron litigation, pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation and Reform Act (PSLRA), the court had appointed the Regents of the University of California as lead plaintiff. The Regents selected Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP as lead counsel for the class, and the district court approved that selection. Milberg Weiss, whose California office was handling the matter, chose Mr. Bilek and his law firm to serve as local counsel in the Southern District of Texas.

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