A handful of federal judges have already had to recuse themselves from the fraud and conspiracy case against law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP, according to published reports.

Citing their previous involvements with Milberg, its securities class-action cases or companies named in them, the judges' recusals have led to the postponement of two arraignments for defendants who had agreed to plead guilty, according to the Los Angeles Times. A computer makes case assignments for the 23 federal judges in the district randomly.

Last month, New York-based Milberg, which made its name litigating class action lawsuits, was indicted, along with two if its partners, on criminal charges of paying illegal kickbacks to clients.

Former real estate investor Howard Vogel was supposed to be arraigned early last week on a charge that he took more than $2.4 million in kickbacks from the law firm. Lawyer Richard Purtich, who agreed to plead guilty to a felony tax charge in connection with allegations that he funneled money to a Milberg client, also had his arraignment postponed.

Previously on WebCPA:New York Law Firm Indicted (May 22, 2006)

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