How can we know in what direction the Rhode Island (RI)I lead paint saga is moving? Follow the money. And, as Justin Scheck points out in his article today in THE RECORDER, the money to watch is what partners in law firms are concerned about continuing to earn. If they sense that their ongoing revenue stream might be threatened, they will probably bail.
In that article titled "Top Milberg Weiss Partners Head for the Exits," Scheck chronicles how, post-federal indictment, the money-makers at the firm "are rushing out the door."
The situation with Motley Rice, the private law firm handling RI lead paint I & II for the state of RI on a contingency basis, isn't analogous, of course. There's no federal indictment. But both Motley Rice and Milberg Weiss are class-action law firms.
If the RI lead paint mess starts getting resolved in the three defendants' favor, you might see the partners at Motley Rice also bail. Also, if as fallout from Milberg Weiss, the whole class-action litigation movement becomes questioned, the Motley Rice partners could also become, well, concerned.
One unintended consequence of the Milberg Weiss indictment is that what its partners earn has been widely covered by the media. It's lots of money. Since Motley Rice has already invested myriad resources in the RI lead paint trials, if it doesn't seem to be heading towards a victory and get that contingency arrangement paid, its partners might re-assess their career options. So, we RI lead-paint watchers should watch what the Motley Rice partners are doing in their career path.