Companies navigating the current heath crisis and dealing with its financial effects face a number of risks. Among the many risks is the possibility of business litigation. For publicly traded companies, the litigation risks include the possibility of securities class action litigation. Even in the midst of a pandemic, the steps companies can take to try to mitigate their securities class action litigation remain the same – manage disclosures, control insider trading, and handle bad news appropriately, among other things – but the coronavirus outbreak has added new dimensions to these steps. Well-advised companies will be making the appropriate adjustments, and, as discussed below, D&O insurance underwriters will be (or perhaps, should be) monitoring companies closely to see which companies are making the adjustments.
Continue Reading Securities Litigation Loss Prevention in the Midst of a Pandemic

Tim Hoeffner
Paul Ferrillo

In the following guest post, Tim Hoeffner and Paul Ferrillo of the McDermott Will & Emery law firm take a look at Southern District of New York Judge Ronnie Abrams’s April 2, 2020 order granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss in the Adient PLC Securities Litigation. I would like to thank Tim and Paul for allowing me the opportunity to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Tim and Paul’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Scienter “Takes a Seat” Front Row Center in New SDNY Case

Tim Hoeffner
Paul Ferrillo

In the following guest post, Tim Hoeffner and Paul Ferrillo of the McDermott Will & Emery law firm take a look at the Eighth Circuit’s April 10, 2020 decision in the Target Corporation securities class action lawsuit, in which the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the case. I would like to thank Tim and Paul for allowing me the opportunity to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Tim and Paul’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Eighth Circuit on Target on Appeal

As I have detailed in prior post on this site (most recently here), in recent months plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed a number of securities class action lawsuits against companies in cannabis-related businesses. According to an April 22, 20202 report from the Goodwin Procter law firm entitled “Update on Securities Litigation Against Cannabis Companies” (here), the number of securities suits against cannabis companies jumped significantly in 2019 compared to 2018. As discussed further below, these litigation trends have continued in 2020.
Continue Reading A Closer Look at Securities Suits Against Cannabis Companies

In a now infamous August 7, 2018 post on his Twitter account, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” This post and several subsequent messages ultimately were the subject of an SEC enforcement proceeding (later settled) as well as several securities class action lawsuits (later consolidated). On April 15, 2020, Northern District of California Edward Chen denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the consolidated securities lawsuit, finding that the “take private” Tweet and other messages were false and misleading. Judge Chen’s opinion is of interest because of the high-profile nature of the allegations, but also for what it says about corporate securities liability exposure for executives’ social media statements. Judge Chen’s opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Musk’s “Take Private” Tweets Held Actionable

Tim Hoeffner
Paul Ferrillo

The Second Circuit issued its latest decision in the long running Goldman Sachs Group securities class action litigation on April 7, 2020 (here). In the following guest post, Tim Hoeffner and Paul Ferrillo of the McDermott, Will & Emery law firm take a look at the Second Circuit’s decision and analyze its implications. I would like to thank Tim and Paul for allowing me to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Time and Paul’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Close Call in New Second Circuit Class Certification Decision

Nessim Mezrahi

In the following guest post, Nessim Mezrahi discusses his analysis of the First Quarter 2020 securities class action lawsuit exposure. Mezrahi is cofounder and CEO of SAR, a securities class action data analytics and software company. SAR’s April 10, 2020 press release discussing its 1Q20 securities class action litigation analysis can be found here. A version of the following article previously was published on Law360. I would like to thank Nessim for allowing me to publish his article on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Nessim’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: First-Quarter Securities Class Actions Respond To Outbreak

More than a month ago, when I first wrote about the possibility that the coronavirus outbreak could lead to D&O claims, I noted that the pandemic was having a devastating impact on certain industries. At the same time, I noted that the viral outbreak could prove a boon for other industries; among the industries I cited as a possible winner was the video teleconferencing industry. Indeed, since the onset of the outbreak’s onset, many of us have for the first time used the services of Zoom Video Telecommunications and Zoom video teleconferences have been proliferating. But while Zoom usage has soared, privacy and security concerns have also arisen.

Now Zoom has been hit with a securities class action lawsuit based on allegations that the surge in usage following the coronavirus outbreak allegedly revealed allegedly undisclosed weaknesses in company’s security, and alleged privacy and security weaknesses contrary to the company’s alleged representations. As discussed below, in addition to representing an example of a coronavirus-related securities suit, the new lawsuit also represents an example of the ways in which privacy concerns can lead to D&O claims.
Continue Reading Zoom Hit With Securities Suit Raising Pandemic-Linked Allegations Based on Privacy Concerns

Here at The D&O Diary, we make it our business to watch securities class action lawsuit filings as they come in, to keep an eye on filing trends as they develop. For example, recently we have been looking for coronavirus-related securities class action lawsuits. But while we were scanning the horizon for COVID-19 suits, something else unexpectedly materialized – all of the sudden, on April 3, 2020, a great big pile of cryptocurrency-related securities class action lawsuits were filed in the Southern District of New York. The filing of eleven total cryptocurrency-related securities suits in a single day is really unprecedented in my experience.
Continue Reading Plaintiffs File a Slew of Cryptocurrency-Related Securities Suits

As the number and rate of securities class action lawsuit filings has remained at historically high levels over the past three years, there have been renewed calls for securities class action litigation reform, as I have detailed in prior post (for example, here). According to a March 25, 2020 paper by the U.S. Chamber Institute of Legal Reform (ILR), the “broken securities class action system continues out of control” and the need for securities litigation reform remains urgent.  On April 1, 2020, I participated in an ILR event, along with ILR President Harold Kim and Andrew Pincus of the Mayer Brown law firm, entitled “An Update on Securities Litigation,” in which we discussed key recent securities litigation developments and the continuing case for securities litigation reform. The paper can be found here and a video recording of the ILR event can be found here.
Continue Reading The Continuing Case for Securities Litigation Reform