The two competing lead plaintiff candidates and their counsel have jointly sought to disqualify US District Judge Loretta Preska of the SDNY from the securities class action against American International Group. The Am Law Litigation Daily reports that Judge Preska’s husband, Thomas Kavaler, is a litigator at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel, and the Cahill law firm and Kavaler himself represent AIG in matters.
The law firms competing to be lead counsel are Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann and Bernstein, Liebhard & Lifshitz. Am Law Litigation Daily reports that the firms filed a joint motion to disqualify Judge Preska arguing that
the judge’s interests are indirectly tied to the fate of AIG. They point out that Kavaler, who is a member of Cahill’s executive management committee, is representing AIG in a class action pending before the Second Circuit (to which Judge Preska was recently nominated by President Bush). The plaintiffs’ lawyers also note that Cahill “currently represents AIG in seven ongoing litigations [and] has previously represented AIG in 17 concluded cases.”