Law firm discovers it sued its own client

Posted on Sep 28 1999

A San Diego law firm, which specializes in class action suits, has withdrawn as the lead plaintiff in an illegal gambling case after discovering that one of the defendant companies was its own client, a California newspaper reported last week.

In its Sept. 24 issue, the San Diego Union Tribune reported that Milberg Weiss “belatedly realized” that it is the corporate counsel to New York-based 4Kids Entertainment, one of the companies that distribute the popular children’s cards called Pokemon.

The lawsuit charges that the Pokemon business promotes illegal gambling.

Also named defendants in the lawsuit along with 4Kids are Nintendo America and Wizards Coast.

The lawsuit said the card trading business qualifies as a gambling enterprise based on three elements: kids must pay to play by buying the cards; they can win rare prize cards, and the element of chance is present because higher value cards are inserted randomly into Pokeman packets.

The lawsuit will be pursued by three others firms, the Union Tribune said.

It added that Milberg Weiss has also decided not to represent 4Kids in the lawsuit.

“If you think this makes me happy, it doesn’t,” the Union Tribune quoted law firm partner Melvyn I. Weiss as saying.

Milberg Weiss, the largest class action law firm in the United States, is best known for suing companies over ethics matters.

Incidentally, Milberg Weiss is the counsel for the plaintiffs in the class action filed by 23 workers against 22 Saipan garment manufacturers. (MCM)

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