Richard is a principal in the New York office. He received his law degree in 1990 from St. John’s University School of Law. He is admitted to the State Bar of New York and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the Eastern District of Michigan.
Mr. Acocelli heads WeissLaw’s class action Mergers & Acquisitions Litigation Group and has appeared in courts throughout the country, including the Delaware Court of Chancery, on numerous occasions on behalf of stockholders in merger & acquisition lawsuits.
Recently, Mr. Acocelli prosecuted a federal class action that alleged receipt of, and failure to adequately disclose, the receipt of transfer agent fees by a national mutual fund firm (In re Smith Barney Transfer Agent Litigation, No. 95-cv-7583 (WHP) (S.D.N.Y.)), (preliminarily approval entered October 7, 2013). He was also the firm’s chief litigator in the prosecution of a federal class action that alleged receipt of, and failure to adequately disclose, secret revenue sharing payments by a national brokerage firm (Spahn v. Edward D. Jones & Co., et al., 04 cv 00086 (HEA)), which resulted in the recovery of $127.5 million on behalf of Edward Jones’ clients. Mr. Acocelli has also successfully represented shareholders as the firm’s chief litigator in In re Ikon Office Solutions, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 99 cv 5759, MDL No. 1318 ($111 million recovery) in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
In addition, Mr. Acocelli served as the firm’s chief litigator in several significant class actions brought on behalf of investors under the federal securities laws, including In re RS Funds, 04 cv 3798 (JFM), which was part of the historic market timing Multi District Litigation pending in District of Maryland (In re Mutual Funds Investment Litig., MDL 1586, 04-MD-15863 (JFM)); In re FleetBoston Financial Corp. Securities Litigation, 02 cv 4561 (GEB), which involved FleetBoston’s failure to adequately reserve for its Argentine loan portfolio; and Beleson v. Schwartz (Loral), 03 cv 06051 (JES), which concerned the adequacy of Loral Space and Communication Ltd.’s disclosure of its pre-packaged bankruptcy.
Mr. Acocelli also serves as the firm’s chief litigator in complex actions brought under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, arising from the alleged payment of excessive fees to investment advisers and distributors of large mutual fund families, including In re American Mutual Funds Fee Litigation, 04 cv 5593 (GAF); Forsythe v. Massachusetts Financial Services Co., No. 04 cv 10584 (GAO); and In re Lord Abbett Excessive Fee Litigation, 04 cv 559. Mr. Acocelli also represented current and former clients of A.G. Edwards, Inc. and A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. in a class action for breach of fiduciary duties and unjust enrichment (Bachman v. A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., Cause No. 22052-01266-02a) in the Circuit Court of St. Louis City, State of Missouri.