PLUS D&O Symposium 2017     

At the Thursday afternoon lunch session at the 2017 PLUS D&O Symposium

The D&O Diary was in New York last week for the 2018 version of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society’s annual D&O Symposium. It was great to see so many people who had traveled from near and far to attend the event and to see old friends and make new friends. Continue Reading

Guest Post: Current Developments in Shareholder Litigation in California

In the following guest post, Boris Feldman of the Wilson Sonsini law firm takes a look at important current developments in California shareholder litigation. Boris’s article previously was published as an AIG whitepaper. I would like to thank Boris and AIG for allowing me to publish this article as a guest post. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Boris’s article. Continue Reading

Hamburg and Lübeck

Hamburg: Jungfernsteig at dusk, viewed from Lombardsbrücke

The D&O Diary was on assignment this past week in Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city and Europe’s second-largest seaport. January may not be the best time to visit; at 53 degrees northern latitude, Hamburg is chilly and dark this time of the year. Fortunately for me, the weather was not nearly so unkind as had been forecast, and other than a few periods of rain, I most enjoyed chilly sunshine. My northern Germany visit included a brief stop in the Baltic port city of Lübeck. Continue Reading

Cornerstone Research: 2017 Securities Lawsuit Filings at “Unprecedented Levels”

For the second straight year, securities class action lawsuit filings reached record levels in 2017, according to the January 30, 2018 report from Cornerstone Research. According to the report, entitled “Securities Class Action Filings: 2017 Year in Review” (here), securities suit filings during the year reached “unprecedented levels” and companies on U.S. exchanges were more likely to be the subject of a securities suit than in any previous year. Cornerstone Research’s January 30, 2018 press release about the report can be found here. My own analysis of the 2017 securities class action lawsuit filings can be found here. Continue Reading

Guest Post: Beware ICO Lawyers: As Regulatory Gatekeepers, You’re the Next SEC Target

Many readers may have noted SEC Jay Clayton’s January 22, 2018 speech about his agency’s scrutiny of cryptocurrencies, as well as the January 24, 2018 opinion piece Clayton wrote in the Wall Street Journal along with his counterpart from the CFTC, J. Christopher Giancarlo. In both statements, Clayton made in clear that the SEC intends to hold gatekeepers to account for their activities in connection with ICOs and cryptocurrencies. In the following guest post, John Reed Stark, President of John Reed Stark Consulting and former Chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, takes a look at the SEC’s cryptocurrency related focus on gatekeeper liability. I would like to thank John for his willingness to publish his 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 John’s guest post. Continue Reading

NERA: 2017 Securities Suits Filed at “Record Pace”

According to a January 29, 2018 report from NERA Economic Consulting, there was “an explosion” of U.S. federal court securities class action litigation filing in 2017, as new securities suits were filed at a “record pace.” The report, entitled “Record Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation: 2017 Full-Year Review,” can be found here. NERA’s January 27, 2018 press release regarding the report can be found here. My analysis of the 2017 securities class action lawsuit filings can be found here. Continue Reading

As Predicted, Another Cryptocurrency-Related Securities Suit

In the recent Advisen quarterly claims webinar, when asked to make a claim prediction for 2018, I said that I thought we would see more cryptocurrency-related regulatory action, enforcement action, and litigation this year. Some might say I was not really going out on a limb with this prediction. After all, earlier this week, Jay Clayton, the Chair of the SEC, and J. Christopher Giancarlo, the head of the CFTC, took to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal to make the point that their respective agencies  are closely monitoring cryptocurrency activities and that the agencies will take action when warranted. That same day, the CFTC announced its third fraud enforcement action in a week. Continue Reading

Second Circuit: Professional Services Exclusion Precludes D&O Coverage for NASDAQ’s Facebook IPO Claims

A recurring D&O insurance issue is the question of whether or not coverage for a particular claim is precluded under the relevant policy’s professional services exclusion. A recent decision by the Second Circuit addressed questions concerning the applicability of a professional services exclusion in a D&O insurance coverage dispute arising out of the mistake-plagued Facebook IPO. In a January 22, 2018 opinion (here), the appellate court affirmed the district court’s ruling that coverage for the settlement of Facebook IPO investors’ claims against NASDAQ was precluded by the NASDAQ’s D&O insurance policy’s professional services exclusion. The opinion includes some interesting discussion of considerations relevant to the exclusion’s applicability. Continue Reading

Guest Post: Second Circuit Holds Defendants’ Fraud-on-the-Market Presumption Rebuttal Need Not Be Conclusive

In the following guest post, attorneys from the Paul Weiss law firm take a look at the Second Circuit’s January 12, 2018 decision in Arkansas Teacher Retirement System v. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (here), in which the appellate court vacated the district court’s certification of a shareholder class in the securities class action lawsuit arising out of the investment company’s involvement in the creation and marketing of the infamous “built-to-fail” Abacus CDO. A version of this article previously appeared as a Paul Weiss law firm client memo. I would like to thank the authors for their willingness 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 site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ guest post. Continue Reading

Reflections on GE’s Massive Run-Off Insurance-Related Charge

In his recent one-volume history of American capitalism, “Americana,” author Bhu Srivnivasan recounts the rise of many of the country’s large corporations in the late 19th century, including the long-standing U.S. industry stalwart, General Electric. GE was formed when Wall Street bankers engineered the merger of two fledgling electrical services providers, including the company formed by Thomas Edison, Edison Electric. The company has since grown to become a massive conglomerate and something of a mainstay of the U.S. commercial economy, in many ways a bellwether for the country’s economic health and a representative example of the country’s industrial might. More recently the company has gone through some high-profile struggles, drawing questions for the company’s management – and as discussed below, attracting securities class action litigation as well. Continue Reading

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