November 9, 2017
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Richard and Joe welcomed two giants of the legal profession, retired District Court, Judge H. Lee Sarokin, and the “King of Class Action Lawsuits”, Bill Lerach.
Judge H. Lee Sarokin
Judge H. Lee Sarokin (retired) is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School. After a 25-year career as a trial lawyer, he was appointed to the U. S. District Court by President Carter and elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals (3rd Cir.) by President Clinton. Judge Sarokin served on the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey from 1979 to 1994 and the United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit) from 1994 to 1996. Judge H. Lee Sarokin wrote over 2,000 written opinions on the federal bench, presided over more than 1,000 cases, and settled approximately 3,000 cases. He freed Rubin “Hurricane” Carter after 19 years in prison for a wrongful conviction (made into a movie -The Hurricane and chronicled in Rubin “Hurricane” Carter’s book “The 16th Round“). Among his over 2000 written opinions, he was the first judge to order tobacco companies to reveal their secret research and to order clubs, such as Kiwanis, to admit women.
Since retirement he served 5 years as Distinguished Jurist in Residence at USD Law School, received numerous awards and honors for his judicial career, provides mediation, arbitration and expert witness services, is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, has authored 7 plays and numerous law review articles, tutored at Casa de Amistad where he started a music program for the Hispanic students, taught at the Braille Institute and plays drums with jazz groups. Judge Sarokin has also written over 200 articles for the Huffington Post.
For over 30 years, Bill Lerach was a securities lawyer. He led the prosecution of securities class and stockholder derivative actions which resulted in over $45 billion dollars of recoveries for defrauded shareholders of Wall Street banks, major accounting firms, corporations and insurance companies. He has been referred to as “The King of Torts.” Mr. Lerach obtained $7.12 billion dollars for Enron stockholders as the lead plaintiff in the case against Enron. This is currently the largest sum ever recorded in a private securities class action suit. He was also instrumental in ending the Joe Camel advertising campaign. Bill also pursued then VP Dick Cheney for major losses caused as Halliburton CEO from 1995-2000. Simultaneously, the DOJ and the Ken Starr team was pursuing Bill, who ultimately plead guilty to one count of obstruction of justice. He was disbarred and served a 2-year sentence. Following his release, Bill has lectured many times about the pending pensions and retirement funds crises throughout California and the US, as well as lectures about his life, legal career and the Holocaust Litigations in which he had a hand in recovering $8 billion for Holocaust survivors, their descendants and waived his legal fees. Since 2004 and only interrupted by his prison stay, Bill has provided the concluding 3-hour lecture every April at USC School of Law in an upper level course there titled, “Corporate Fraud”. Bill currently enjoys traveling, fishing, lecturing, gardening and tending to a world-class collection of Tribal and Indigenous Art.
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