As discussed in an earlier post, the BankAtlantic subprime related securities lawsuit is headed to trial. According to an October 5, 2010 Law.com article (here), jury selection in the case will begin this Friday, October 8, 2010, in federal court in Miami.
The Law.com article suggests the case has become contentious as it has moved forward. Among other things, the article quotes defense counsel as saying that "I’m offended by this case," which he characterizes as "a completely made-up, frivolous claim." Defense counsel reportedly has moved for sanctions against the plaintiffs’ attorney. (The article does not mention that in connection with the motions for summary judgment, Judge Ursula Ungaro granted summary judgment for plaintiffs on the issue of falsity, as to certain of the allegedly misleading statements, as discussed here.)
If the case does proceed to trial it would represent one of one only a very small handful of securities class action lawsuits that have actually made it to trial since the enactment of the PSLRA in 1995.
According to information compiled by Adam Savett, the Director of Securities Class Actions at the Claims Compensation Bureau, since the enactment of the PSLRA, there have only been nine securities class action lawsuits based on post-PSLRA conduct that have actually been tried to a jury verdict. Another seven cases alleging post-PSLRA conduct went to trial but were compromised or otherwise resolved prior to verdict. An additional eleven securities cases have gone to trial post-PSLRA but involved pre-PSLRA conduct.
In other words, if the BankAtlantic case actually does go forward, it would represent only the 28th case to go to trial since the enactment of the PLSRA, and only the 17th case since the enactment of the PSLRA involving post PSLRA conduct to go to trial. If the BankAtlantic case actually goes to verdict, it would represent only the tenth securities class action lawsuit to go to verdict post-PSLRA involving post-PSLRA conduct.
For those who are interested to know how the nine post-PSLRA verdicts have turned out, the current tally (taking into account post-verdict proceedings and reflecting only the current status of post-verdict proceedings) is as follows: Plaintiffs 5, Defendants 4. (The scoreboard is subject to revision pending the outcome of additional proceedings in several of the cases.)