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Melvyn I. Weiss, co-founder of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman described name-partner Steven Schulman’s departure as “amicable” and said that no one at the firm had asked him to leave. The firm’s name will now be Milberg Weiss & Bershad.

Melvyn I. Weiss, co-founder of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman described name-partner Steven Schulman’s departure as “amicable” and said that no one at the firm had asked him to leave. The firm’s name will now be Milberg Weiss & Bershad. 3

Steven G. Schulman, a named partner at the securities class-action law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, resigned yesterday to seek out “new ventures” and devote time to defending himself against criminal charges.

Steven G. Schulman spent 20 years at Milberg Weiss, a securities class-action law firm. He was a named partner.

Mr. Schulman; another partner, David J. Bershad; and the firm were accused in a federal indictment of making more than $11 million in secret payments to three people who served as plaintiffs in more than 150 lawsuits. Mr. Schulman, who had been with the firm for 20 years, has been on a leave of absence since the May indictment.

Melvyn I. Weiss, co-founder of the firm, described Mr. Schulman’s departure as “amicable” and said that no one at the firm had asked him to leave. The firm’s name will now be Milberg Weiss & Bershad.

“It’s a friendly departure,” Mr. Weiss said “This was his decision and it doesn’t imply anything other than he wants to do his own thing.” Mr. Weiss said Mr. Schulman informed him of his plans over a breakfast meeting on Thursday.

“He’s a brilliant lawyer and he’s made a lot of great contributions to our field of practice,” Mr. Weiss added.

Mr. Schulman, Mr. Bershad and the firm have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Last month, a trial date was set for January 2008.

Mr. Schulman’s departure is the latest blow for Milberg Weiss as it struggles to survive.

Not that long ago, Milberg Weiss was a class-action powerhouse. Feared and loathed by corporate America, it won billions in recoveries for shareholders in hundreds of lawsuits over decades.

Since the indictment, however, partners have left to join other firms or start their own practices, and Milberg Weiss has been removed as lead counsel in a handful of high-profile cases by institutional investors.

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