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Circle of Greed: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Lawyer Who Brought Corporate America to Its Knees
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Circle of Greed: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Lawyer Who Brought Corporate America to Its Knees

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  88 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Circle of Greed is the epic story of the rise and fall of Bill Lerach, once the leading class action lawyer in America and now a convicted felon. For more than two decades, Lerach threatened, shook down and sued top Fortune 500 companies, including Disney, Apple, Time Warner, and—most famously—Enron. Now, the man who brought corporate moguls to their knees has fallen prey ...more
Hardcover, 532 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Interesting and at times long story chronicling the rise and fall of one of America's foremost Tort Lawyers Bill Leerach.

The book does a good job of breaking down some of the cases he was on and the huge verdicts he wrestled from some of the biggest and at times greedy corporations in America and beyond.

Through the book we find out that he was paying plaintiffs in order to bring about these lawsuits. While eventually made illegal by our beloved congress it was not illegal when he started going
Amy Johanning
It is hard not to review the behaviors and actions that make up the book's plot rather than the book itself. The illegalities of some of America's top class action attorneys are are disturbing, to say the least. The authors do a rather good job of documenting Bill Lerach's crimes over his 30 year practice while simultaneously applauding his efforts on behalf of plaintiff's victimized by corporate greed. The intricacies of civil litigation and class action suits are simplified for the reader - no ...more
I expected to read Circle of Greed with an unseemly amount of schadenfreude. After college, I worked as a paralegal at Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, the pioneering securities class action law firm where Bill Lerach -- the subject of the biographical Circle of Greed was a named partner (albeit in the San Diego office; I worked in the New York office and never met Lerach). I was miserable working at Milberg Weiss, so when I read, a year or so ago, that Bill Lerach and others -- whom I ...more
Fred Moramarco
This is a compelling read--I couldn't put it down--and tells the remarkable story of Bill Lerach, the major fraud litigator in America for the 30 years between 1975 and 2005. It is dense with details, but it is surprisingly fair, both to Lerach and to the forces which brought him down. From a breakthrough case against the Methodist Church in the 1970s, through the Savings and Loan debacle of the 80s, the manipulations of the 90s and the colossal Enron and Worldcom collapses of the 00's, ...more
I read this book for an ethics CLE. The story itself is interesting and the cast of characters is fascinating, but I give this book a thumbs down from a writing standpoint. I expected more from two Pulitzer Prize winning authors.
Tim Work
This book is probably of far more interest to someone with a legal background, and specifically someone with an interest in securities law and litigation. That isn't to say it's not entertaining, but the authors have more or less written a history of how the securities laws have evolved since the 1970s through the lens of the most infamous securities class action lawyer from that period. Unless you're taken by the discussions of politics and policy that pervade the narrative, it will generally r ...more
A little long winded, but otherwise good.
Matt Skains
Interesting story of Bill Lerach - The guy basically responsible for the rise of "scheme liability" lawsuits and went after Enron. Eventually got busted for giving kickbacks to lead plaintiffs (illegal). Only 3 stars because it seems to drag a bit and the text can be a bit dry at times (go figure). Not a bad read though.
Terribly interesting. Loved reading about Bill, specially since it all took place in my backyard. Too bad such good intentions went south. Well written, full of details and a must read for the legal community.
Dec 16, 2011 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: dnf
I gave up about 44% of the way into the book. It was fascinating and told really well but the cast of characters kept expanding and I found it difficult to really maintain an interest in the topic.
Chris O'Brien
A great look inside the man who used "fraud to fight fraud." Gets a bit dense at times with the overlapping legal cases. But overall, a compelling narrative about the rise and fall of Lerach.
Sooooooooo long. That said, it's a fun read for securities practitioners in California. Lots of guest appearances by current and former Bingham-ites!
I was skeptical at first, but actually found this book pretty fascinating. It's worth reading!
This was a fascinating read. Lerach became what he crusaded against.
John Gillespie
Liked it a lot. Very good book for a trial lawyer.
Extremely interesting read!!
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