Like most of us Baby Boombers, former plaintiff attorney Bill Lerach started out barely middle class. Leveraging his drive, ability to outwork the competition, and an unusual, for that time, willingness to think outside the box, Lerach made it big. His special area of expertise was suing major corporations for securities fraud.
Then, he got greedy, as Patrick Dillon and Carl M. Cannon chronicle in their new book CIRCLE OF GREED: The spectacular rise and fall of the lawyer who brought corporate America to its knees. He and his law firm Milberg Weiss pursued lawsuits gangsta style. He spent two years in prison and lost his law license. However, once underdog he was, he is managing to bounce back. Now out of prison, he served on a law-school panel on securities fraud and it seems to be in the cards that he will be teaching a course on regulation at the University of California Irvine School of Law.
Some point to miscreants like Lerach as inherently evil. Alan Lange takes that point of view in his book KINGS OF TORT on that other infamous plaintiff attorney Dickie Scruggs. While Lange's book is brilliant, I never agreed with his assessment of Scruggs as evil. Scruggs also started out barely middle class.
Rather, and I witness it in my coaching, we Baby Boomers change. Nobodies at one time, we taste the influence, power and wealth of being a somebody. Most of us can't handle that. I couldn't. From a tenement in Jersey City, New Jersey, I went on to own a This Old House on the Gold Coast of Connecticut and a cottage five blocks from the ocean at the Jersey Shore. In 2003, I lost it all. The hunger for more had overtaken me.
The good news is that adversity can transform us back to the people we were who got us to where we couldn't handle it. Only this time, we can and will handle it, one success at a time. I provide a road map for the journey back and how to stay stable in my new book OVER-50: HOW WE KEEP WORKING. The talk I delivered on it at the New York State Bar Association has recently been published in VITAL SPEECHES OF THE DAY Download NYSBAtalkinVITALSPEECHESOFDAY.