Jim Richter, a Georgia attorney and publisher of the Richter Report newsletter, just sent the following email about the growing number of lawsuits accusing the “bullion banks” of manipulating the price of silver.
Some disclosures: Jim is a friend. I have no stake whatsoever (no finders fees or anything like that) in these suits, other than that their success might raise the price of the silver bullion I’ve accumulated over the years. And I can in no way vouch for the attorneys involved or the merits of the case.
But the idea of suing the hell out of the bullion banks is very cool indeed. Here’s Jim’s letter:
As you must know from visiting my website, I am an attorney. For the past several years, I have been telling any of my attorney brethren who would listen about the manipulation of the gold and silver markets. Most attorneys have no clue about how the financial markets work. For a long time, no one would listen. However, with recent developments, that attitude has changed.
During the past couple of months, I have spoken with several law firms which have expressed interest in taking legal action against some of the bullion banks on account of their manipulation of the silver market. As you know, several New York law firms were the first to file. However, the folks with whom I have spoken are also interested in getting involved. Therefore, I thought that I would write to you in order to see whether you might have some ideas which could be helpful.
First of all, the canons of legal ethics preclude any attorney from directly soliciting clients. At most, an attorney can only make it known that he/she is familiar with the issues, and that any person who believes that he/she has been damaged by the conduct of the potential defendants (JPM and HSBC) should feel free to contact the attorney or law firm.
The lawsuits which have been filed thus far allege manipulation of the silver market on the COMEX from mid-2008 to the present. Obviously, anyone who went “long” on silver on the COMEX during 2008, and then got flushed out of his/her position (for a loss) during the bloodbath in 2008 would be a potential plaintiff. That is the theory on which the current lawsuits are premised.
My lawyer contacts believe that there is an additional group of potential class action plaintiffs: anyone who was long silver mining shares in 2008, and who got flushed out of his/her positions during the 2008 debacle. That is a cause of action which has not been included in the lawsuits which have been filed. However, I think that it is a very interesting issue. After all, for every individual who trades on the COMEX, there are many more people who invest in and trade the mining shares. I have no doubt that there are a lot of people who had to bail out of their positions in the silver shares when things went crazy in 2008. I also have no doubt that the manipulation of the COMEX in 2008 had a direct and adverse effect on the silver shares.
That leads me to the reason I am writing. I was wondering if you would be so kind as to pass this email along to anyone you might know who might be a potential plaintiff against JPM or HSBC. Anyone who thinks that he or she might have a cause of action should feel free to contact one (or both) of the attorneys listed below:
1) Peter Safirstein, of Milberg, LLP, in New York. Here’s a link to his firm’s website: http://www.milberg.com/people/bio.aspx?bioid=56&emptype=34
2) Jonathan (Jay) Waller. Mr. Waller’s firm is in Birmingham, Alabama. He is an aggressive litigator who sounds very enthusiastic about this whole issue. Here is a link to some information about him: http://www.hsy.com/attorneys.asp?action=indiv&id=316
Thanks for whatever assistance you can give. It would be nice if we could have honest, unrigged markets!