U.S. District Court Judge Melinda Harmon has released Andersen lawyer Nancy Temple and four other former Andersen partners from the class action lawsuit pending against the former Big Five firm. Nancy Temple is the lawyer whose in-house memo was instrumental in the downfall of the firm.
Arthur Andersen LLP and thirteen partners still remain as defendants in the lawsuit led by the University of California Regents and other investors who lost money after relying on Enron financial statements.
The class action suit seeks to recover as much as $25 billion from Andersen and the small group of partners. Former Andersen CEO Joseph Berardino is one of those named in the suit. Houston attorney Andy Ramzel, one of the lawyers who represents Andersen and several of the partners, indicated he expects "our remaining clients will be vindicated when all the facts are presented."
Judge Harmon stated she released Ms. Temple and the others from the suit because plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit did not adequately specify what the individual defendants did wrong. Judge Harmon referred to allegations against the individual partners as "fatally vague and conclusory."