Over the last two years, there have been two important judicial decisions concerning Section 11 litigation. In March 2018, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held in the Cyan case that state courts retain concurrent jurisdiction over lawsuits asserting liability claims under the Securities Act of 1933, a development that has increased the number of state court securities class action lawsuits. In March 2020, in Salzberg v. Sciabacucchi, the Delaware Supreme Court upheld the facial validity of corporate charter provisions requiring Section 11 claims to be litigated in federal court. A June 22, 2020 post of the CLS Blue Sky Blog entitled “State Section 11 Litigation in the Post-Cyan Environment (Despite Sciabacucchi)” (here) assesses the Section 11 litigation environment in light of these developments. The paper, written by Stanford Law School Professor Michael Klausner and Jason Hegland, Carin LeVine, and Jessica Shin of Stanford Securities Litigation Analytics, summarizes the authors’ more detailed academic paper (here), as discussed below.
Continue Reading The Post-Cyan Section 11 Litigation Environment

Gregory A. Markel
Sarah A. Fedner

As this blog’s readers know, a recurring recent topic on this blog has been the need for another round of securities class action litigation reform. In the following guest post, Gregory A. Markel and Sarah A. Fedner of the Seyfarth Shaw law firm explore the possible opportunities for reform with respect two specific areas of concern: duplicative state and federal court litigation in the wake of Cyan and the payment of mootness fees in merger cases. The authors outline the policy objections to these practices and suggest that Congress should intervene to end them. My thanks to Greg and Sarah 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 Greg and Sarah’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Two Areas for Reform in Securities Litigation

In prior posts on this site (most recently here), I have suggested that D&O claims could arise in connection with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a fiscal stimulus program Congress enacted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). In what is as far as I know the first PPP-related securities class action lawsuit, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo & Company, alleging that the company made misrepresentations to investors in connection with the company’s participation in the PPP. A copy of the plaintiff’s June 4, 2020 complaint can be found here.
Continue Reading Wells Fargo Hit with First PPP-Related Securities Class Action

On May 27, 2020, in the latest #MeToo-related securities class action lawsuit to fail to survive initial pleading hurdles, Judge Gloria M. Navarro granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the securities suit filed against Wynn Resorts based on allegations that the company had failed to disclose sexual misconduct of its former CEO, Stephen Wynn. The ruling joins several other recent dismissal rulings in #MeToo-related securities suits – although, as noted below, there have also been several noteworthy settlements in #MeToo suits as well. A copy of Judge Navarro’s opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Dismissal Motion Granted in Wynn Resorts #MeToo-Related Securities Suit

As I have documented in prior posts (for example, here), publicly traded life sciences companies are frequent targets of securities class action lawsuits. But life sciences companies’ securities litigation exposure may be well-known, it is not always as appreciated that the securities suits against life sciences companies are often dismissed. Two recent rulings in securities suits against life sciences companies – Antares Pharma and Nabriva Therapeutics – provide recent examples of securities suits in which the courts have granted the companies’ dismissal motions. The rulings illustrate the extent to which life sciences companies often are able to successfully defend themselves against securities suits.
Continue Reading Life Sciences Companies: Frequent Securities Suits Frequently Dismissed

A recent guest post on this site expressed the view that because of the volume of Section 11 litigation being filed in New York state court, New York’s courts “will have a major role in shaping the standards applied in Securities Act litigation going forward.” If that is the case, then the recent ruling by a New York trial court judge granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss in a state court Section 11 action could be significant. New York (New York County) Supreme Court Judge Barry Ostrager’s May 15, 2020 ruling in the consolidated Sundial Growers Securities Litigation can be found here.
Continue Reading Dismissal Granted in New York State Court Securities Class Action

In March 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Cyan that state courts retain concurrent jurisdiction for liability actions under the Securities Act of 1933. As a result, defendants could face the prospect of parallel litigation in both federal and state court, with no means of consolidating the proceedings. In the following guest post, Bruce G. Vanyo, Richard H. Zelichov, Michael J. Lohnes, and Jonathan Rotenberg, all of the Katten law firm, take a look at Cyan’s impact and review some recent positive developments that address some of the concerns Cyan has led to. I would like to thank the authors 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 the authors’ article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Section 11 Cases in State Court Post-Cyan – Is the Tide Turning?

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