Archives: Securities Litigation

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Cornerstone Research: U.S.-Listed Companies’ Securities Suit Susceptibility at Record High Levels in 2015

Not only were securities class action lawsuit filings in 2015 at their highest levels since 2008, but the likelihood that a U.S.-listed company would get hit with a securities suit was at the highest level at any time since the PSLRA was enacted, according to the latest annual report from Cornerstone Research. Cornerstone Research’s report, … Continue Reading

NERA Report: 2015 Securities Class Action Filings at Highest Level Since 2008

Securities class action lawsuit filings in 2015 were at their highest level since 2008, according to the latest annual report from NERA Economic Consulting. The report also states that not only as the number of lawsuits filed increased in 2015, but the rate of lawsuit filings relative to the number of publicly traded companies has … Continue Reading

Merck Agrees to Settle Long-Running Vioxx-Related Securities Class Action Lawsuit for $830 Million

In my recent review of the past year’s top D&O stories, I noted the current trend toward increased numbers of securities class action lawsuits involving smaller companies, and also towards smaller securities suit settlements. In the midst of this era of generally smaller cases and settlements has now come a huge settlement reminiscent of earlier … Continue Reading

Blog Post Statements Held Actionable Under the Federal Securities Laws

We are all used to seeing securities class action lawsuit alleging that the defendants made misrepresentations or omissions in SEC filings, press releases, or in public statements. But how about in a corporate blog post? In a very interesting December 23, 2015 opinion in the Rocket Fuel securities class action lawsuit in which she mostly … Continue Reading

U.S. Securities Class Action Lawsuit Filings in 2015 at Highest Level in Years

The number of securities class action lawsuits filed in 2015 rose to the highest annual level in several years. As detailed below, a number of factors contributed to the increase in securities class action lawsuit filings during the year, including in particular the number of lawsuits filed against IPO companies (owing to the fact that … Continue Reading

Publicly Traded Australian Plaintiffs’ Securities Law Firm Slater & Gordon Faces Possible Securities Suit

  In May 2007, Sydney-based plaintiffs’ law firm Slater & Gordon listed its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange, becoming the world’s first publicly traded law firm. On its website, the firm touts its “outstanding record” in class actions and group actions. As the firm’s website also highlights, the firm has been an active in … Continue Reading

Biotech Bad Boy Shkreli Hit With Securities Class Action Lawsuit

I am sure that many of you, like me, felt a satisfying wave of schadenfreude when you heard the news last week that biotech bad boy Martin Shkreli had been arrested on securities fraud charges. Shkreli became the poster-child for drug company price-gouging after his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, increased the price of Daraprim, a life-saving … Continue Reading

Dole Shareholders File Securities Suit Based on Executives’ Share Price Deflating Conduct Prior to Going Private Deal

The November 1, 2013 transaction in which David Murdock, Dole Food Company’s Chairman and CEO, acquired the Dole shares he did not already own has already been the subject of extensive litigation. Indeed, in 108-page August 27, 2015 post-trial opinion (here), Delaware Court of Chancery Vice Chancellor Travis Laster found that and Murdock and C. … Continue Reading

A Burst Dam in Brazil, a U.S. Securites Lawsuit, and a Heap of Current Litigation Trends

On December 7, 2015, in a complaint that reflects a number of current U.S. securities class action lawsuit filing trends, a plaintiff securityholder filed a securities class action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York under the U.S. securities laws against the Brazilian mining giant Vale, S.A. and two of its officers. The complaint … Continue Reading

Does the Omnicare’s Holding Regarding Opinion Apply to Securities Fraud Claims?

In its March 2015 decision in the Omnicare v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund (here), the U.S. Supreme Court held that an issuer may be liable for opinions set forth in a registration statement if the issuer did not genuinely hold the stated opinion, or if the issuer failed to disclose material facts … Continue Reading

Uptick in Securities Suits Against U.S.-Listed Chinese Companies

Long-time readers of this blog will recall that in 2011, there was a rash of U.S. securities class action lawsuits filed against U.S.-listed Chinese companies. Many of these companies had obtained their U.S.-listings by way of a reverse merger with a U.S.-listed public shell. The 39 securities suits filed in 2011 against U.S.-listed Chinese companies … Continue Reading

New SEC Enforcement Action Database from NYU and Cornerstone Research

On October 27, 2015, Cornerstone Research in conjunction with the New York University Pollock Center for Law & Business and the Leonard N. Stern School of Business to launch the Securities Enforcement Database (SEED). As described in the organizations’ joint October 27, 2015 press release (here), the database will track record and information relating to … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: Embezzler Executive’s Knowledge Can Be Imputed to Company in Innocent Third Party-Filed Securities Suit

For purposes of determining the scienter of a corporate entity defendant under the federal securities laws, a company’s executives’ knowledge generally is imputed to company. There is an exception to these general principles – the “adverse interest exception” – which provides that an executive’s knowledge will not be imputed to the company if the executive … Continue Reading

SEC Files Record Number of Independent Enforcement Actions in Fiscal 2015

According to the agency’s recently released enforcement activity statics, the SEC’s overall enforcement activity and the number of independent enforcement actions both increased in the fiscal year 2015 (which just ended on September 30) compared to prior years. More specifically, during fiscal 2015, the agency filed a record number of independent actions for violations of … Continue Reading

Money Laundering Allegations and Follow-On Securities Litigation

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress enacted or expanded a number of laws regarding the global financial system in order to combat money laundering and promote national security. As I have noted in prior post (most recently here), regulatory enforcement activity under these laws represents a potentially significant new area of potential … Continue Reading

Game Over?: Del. Chancery Court Rejects Disclosure-Only Settlement in H-P/Aruba Networks Merger Objection Lawsuit

Stating his belief that the merger objection litigation dynamic represents a “systemic” problem that has resulted in a “misshapen legal system,” Delaware Chancery Court Vice Chancellor Travis Laster rejected the proposed disclosure-only settlement of litigation that had been filed objecting to Hewlett-Packard’s $2.7 billion acquisition of Aruba Networks. In an October 9, 2015 settlement hearing … Continue Reading

Guest Post: Access to Internal Investigation Records by Shareholders

In many instances when allegations of wrongdoing surface at a company, the appropriate course for the company’s board will be to appoint an independent committee to investigate the allegations. The investigation can be conducted in a way to preserve confidential information and privileges. However, recent case law developments underscore the fact that in some instances the … Continue Reading

Tesco Securities Suit: Applicability of U.S. Securities Laws to Unlisted ADRs?

It has been over five years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2010 decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank restricted the ability of shareholders of non-U.S. companies who purchased their shares outside the U.S. to file securities fraud lawsuit in U.S. courts under the U.S. securities laws. During that five year period, the lower … Continue Reading

Volkswagen Vehicle Emissions Scandal Triggers U.S. Securities Suit, Dutch Collective Action Initiative

The news that Volkswagen employed sophisticated software-based “defeat devices” in order to permit a number of its diesel-engine models to appear to meet U.S. emissions standards has dominated the headlines in the business pages over the last few days. The news has already led to the resignation of its embattled CEO, Martin Winterkorn. In addition … Continue Reading

Guest Post: The Fifth Circuit Takes the Risk Out of Materialization-Of-The-Risk Cases

In the following guest post, Michael J. Biles of the King & Spalding law firm takes a look at the analysis of the materialization-of-the-risk issues in the Fifth Circuit’s September 8, 2015 decision in the BP Deepwater Horizon securities class action lawsuit. As Michael asserts below, the Fifth Circuit’s decision opinion essentially removes the risk of … Continue Reading

Guest Post: Winning the Securities Litigation Damages Battle After Losing the Liability War

Almost every securities class action lawsuit that is not dismissed eventually settles; very few of the cases actually go to trial. However, there have been the rare cases that have gone to trial and there are some important lessons to be learned from these cases. In the following guest post, Daniel Tyukody of the Goodwin … Continue Reading

Guest Post: Update on Economic Analysis of Price Impact in Securities Class Actions Post-Halliburton II

In its June 2014 opinion in Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co., the United States Supreme Court held that in connection with a motion for class certification in a securities class action lawsuit, a defendant should have the opportunity to try to rebut the presumption of reliance by showing that the alleged misrepresentation … Continue Reading

Guest Post: Court of Appeals Warns Against Complacency in the PSLRA’s Safe Harbor

One of the most important ways a company can try to avoid potential liability under the federal securities laws is to incorporate precautionary disclosure in its public statements and regulatory filings. However, in a June 23, 2015 decision in In re Harman International Industries Securities Litigation (here), the D.C. Circuit provided a reminder to companies … Continue Reading
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