Spencer Burkholz and Jason Forge Named Top Plaintiff Lawyers
On June 14, 2017, the Daily Journal named Robbins Geller partners Spencer Burkholz and Jason Forge as Top Plaintiff Lawyers for 2017. The annual award recognizes the top attorneys in California who are making an impact through their excellent lawyering skills and leadership.
For nearly 20 years, Burkholz has successfully prosecuted several high-profile securities class actions that resulted in historical recoveries for investors. The publication commended him for his work in the 14-year-long Household International case, in which he obtained a record-breaking $1.575 billion recovery. “It is the largest recovery following a securities fraud class action trial, the largest securities fraud settlement in the 7th Circuit and the seventh-largest settlement in a securities fraud case filed after the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995,” writes the Daily Journal. When speaking to the publication, Burkholz noted that because of the Firm’s reputation, it is known that “companies facing legitimate securities fraud claims – at least when our firm is representing the plaintiffs – have to face the risks of going to trial.” The Daily Journal additionally praised Burkholz for the $500 million settlement in the Countrywide MBS litigation, which resolved claims “that Countrywide Financial, along with various Wall Street banks, packaged millions of dollars of mortgage backed securities with defective Countrywide loans, then falsely told investors that the products were investment grade.” The Countrywide recovery is the largest RMBS purchaser class action recovery to date. Burkholz has also recovered billions of dollars for injured shareholders in additional cases such as Enron ($7.2 billion), the largest securities class action recovery, and WorldCom ($657 million), the largest opt-out (non-class) securities action recovery.
As an Assistant U.S. Attorney for over 12 years, Forge investigated and prosecuted some of the nation's most significant cases, including the largest corruption case in congressional history – against U.S. Rep. Randall “Duke” Cunningham – which the Daily Journal lauded. The publication recognized Forge and his Robbins Geller colleagues for their work on the Trump University case, which culminated in a $25 million settlement struck with “President Donald J. Trump's defense team to avoid a civil fraud trial over the Trump University real estate seminar program.” The Daily Journal noted that this unprecedented result “came just weeks after the election last November and despite Trump's repeated vows not to settle the case,” and that the presiding Judge called the achievement “a testament to Class Counsel’s representation and dedication to act in their clients’ best interest.” Forge told the Daily Journal that the resolution “was in the best interest of the class and the country.” Instead of being a “national distraction for years,” Forge explained, the settlement means that individual class members are eligible for nearly full refunds – tens of thousands of dollars for some. As the Daily Journal observed, Forge is no stranger to battling powerful adversaries. In addition to Congressman Cunningham and President Trump, Forge was one of the lead attorneys in a case against Pfizer, Inc. related to its off-label promotion of painkillers, which settled for $400 million on the eve of the trial, and he is currently running what is the first securities fraud case to be certified as a class action against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., which relates to Wal-Mart’s alleged cover-up of suspected foreign corruption.