In an important development affirming the use of federal forum provisions (FFP) to avoid duplicative parallel state court securities lawsuits, a New York state court judge has granted the securities suit defendants’ motion to dismiss based on the FFP in the corporate defendant’s charter. The ruling appears to be the first in New York – indeed, the first outside of California – to enforce an FFP. The New York court’s enforcement of the FFP is a significant step in companies’ efforts to try to avoid the duplicative litigation problems caused by the U.S. Supreme Court’s March 2018 decision in Cyan. A copy of the August 31, 2021 opinion of the New York state court in the Casa Systems case can be found here.
Continue Reading New York State Court Enforces Federal Forum Provision

On Thursday, September 23, 2021, I will be participating in a Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) webinar on the topic “SPAC and Related IPO Litigation as it has Evolved & The Current State of SEC Regulation of Disclosure.” This free, one-hour webinar will begin at 2:00 pm EDT. The session will be moderated by Greg

The case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court was to consider the applicability of the PSLRA’s discovery stay in state court ’33 Act actions has been suspended by the Court at the parties’ request. The parties apparently have reached a tentative settlement of the underlying matter and jointly requested that the Court hold the matter in abeyance, pending the parties’ efforts to complete settlement documentation.
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Suspends Case Addressing Discovery Stay in State Court ’33 Act Suits

In numerous prior posts, I have noted the problems and inefficiencies that the U.S. Supreme Court’s March 2018 Cyan decision have wrought, such as, for example, the possibility of multiplied parallel litigation (discussed here). There are a host of other issues as well, such as the absence in state court of procedural protections available in federal court; the prevalence in state court of weaker suits; and the pressure that multiple suits puts on defendants to settle, as discussed here. These and other concerns arising from Cyan have led the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) to issue a new paper entitled “Courting Confusion: Federal Securities Class Actions Don’t Belong in State Courts,” in which the ILR calls for Congress to “close the loophole” by requiring that all 1933 Act claims must be brought in federal court and authorizing the removal to federal court of ’33 Act liability actions filed in state court. The ILR’s August 30, 2021 press release, to which the paper is attached, can be found here.
Continue Reading Institute for Legal Reform: Congress Should Enact Reforms to Address Cyan

In the latest SPAC-related securities class action lawsuit filing, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a class action lawsuit against Katapult Holdings, an ecommerce firm providing online financing and product purchase options for non-prime consumers. The defendants named in the complaint include two former officers of the SPAC with which Katapult merged in June 2021. A copy of the August 27, 2021 complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading eCommerce Firm Hit with SPAC-Related Securities Suit

In my previous blog post, I noted that plaintiffs’ attorneys’ have been and are continuing to file SPAC-related securities class action suits,  and I also noted that the latest filings are targeting SPAC and SPAC merger entities that completed their IPOs in the early stages of the SPAC IPO frenzy in late 2020 and early 2021. As if to underscore this point, yesterday a plaintiff shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit against a post-SPAC-merger smart home products technology company, based on alleged misrepresentations in the company’s warranty accruals. The new lawsuit represents the latest example of the SPAC-related securities litigation trend. A copy of the complaint in the new lawsuit can be found here.
Continue Reading SPAC-Related Securities Suit Hits Smart Building Products Tech Company

Over the last few years, I have posted numerous items citing examples were sexual misconduct allegations or a hostile workplace environment have led to D&O claims. Many of these kinds of suits followed in the wake of the #MeToo movement. The fact that these kinds of allegations can lead to D&O claims is well understood in the D&O insurance industry. However, I know from recent conversations that some in the industry believe that the risk of these kinds of D&O claims has diminished as the #MeToo movement has evolved. However, recent events at the gaming company Activision Blizzard shows that unfortunately the kinds of underlying allegations that have led to claims are not a thing of the past; as discussed below, Activision Blizzard has now been hit with a securities suit based on underlying sexual misconduct and discrimination allegations.
Continue Reading Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Allegations Lead to Securities Suit

In its recent report on securities suit filings in the year’s first half, Cornerstone Research noted that while securities suit filings generally in the first six months of the year were down, SPAC-related securities suit filings were up, with first half suit filings involving SPACs double the number of SPAC-related suits during the full prior year. As further evidence that this first half 2021 securities suit filing trend will continue as the year progresses, last week a plaintiff shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit against a home healthcare equipment company that merged with a publicly traded SPAC in November 2019. As discussed below, this latest suit has much in common with many of the prior SPAC-related lawsuits, but it also has certain distinctive features as well.
Continue Reading Home Health Equipment Company Hit with SPAC-Related Securities Suit

Largely due to a “substantial reduction” in the number of merger objection lawsuit filings, as well as a decline in the number of Section 11 and 1933 Act securities class action filings, the number of federal and state court securities class action lawsuits filed in the first six months of 2021 “dropped considerably” compared to the second half of 2020, according to a new report from Cornerstone Research. Filings of core Section 10(b) suit filings were, however, only “down modestly.” The report, entitled “Securities Class Action Filings: 2021 Midyear Assessment,” can be found here. Cornerstone Research’s July 28, 2021 press release about the report can be found here. My own analysis of the 1H21 federal court securities class action lawsuit filings can be found here.
Continue Reading Cornerstone Research: Securities Suit Filings Declined in Year’s First Half

There are a lot of different ways you might look at securities class action litigation settlement data. You might, for example, look at average or median settlement amounts. You might look at the data in the aggregate. Or you could look at it geographically – say, according to the U.S. state in which the case was pending. That is exactly what ISS Securities Class action Services has done. In its latest report, entitled “The Largest U.S. Settlements By State,” the authors identify the largest settlement by U.S. state. The report is interesting and does answer a question that does come up from time to time. A copy of the report can be found here.
Continue Reading Looking at the Largest Securities Suit Settlements by State