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One of the lawyers Silicon Valley loves to hate

A Milberg Weiss & Bershad partner pleads guilty to a federal conspiracy charge and shouts of joy can be heard across the tech landscape.

When it comes to class action shareholder lawsuits, the name Milberg Weiss & Bershad could strike fear and contempt among many Silicon Valley companies and a number of Fortune 500 players.

Today, as former partner David J. Bershad pleads guilty to a federal conspiracy charge and will pay a $250,000 fine and forfeit $7.75 million, corporate America may be feeling a bit smug.

Bershad acknowledges that "he and others agreed to conceal from judges in state and federal courts Milberg Weiss' secret payment arrangements with named plaintiffs in class actions and shareholder derivative actions," the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California, announced Monday.

Bershad, 67, agreed to cooperate in the government's ongoing investigation. Milberg Weiss, Steven G. Shulman and two other defendants have pleaded not guilty to the 20-count indictment, which alleges millions of dollars were paid to plaintiffs in an illegal kick-back scheme in more than 150 class action and shareholder derivative lawsuits.

The other defendants are scheduled to go to trial in January.