Through reforms enacted in the PSLRA, Congress intended for lead plaintiffs and courts to exercise some control over the plaintiffs’ law firms that pursue securities class action lawsuits. The securities laws also require courts to determine the amount of plaintiffs’ counsel’s fee awards. Yet, as the authors of recent academic paper suggest, the lead plaintiffs and the courts often lack the tools they need to execute these functions.
To try to derive the kinds of information that would allow lead plaintiffs and courts to fulfill their intended roles, the authors reviewed case records of thousands of cases, as a way to identify important indica of law firm performance as well as to extract detailed information about the fee awards. With the benefit of this information, the authors — Professor Stephen Choi of the New York University Law School, Professor Jessica Erickson of the University of Richmond Law School, and Professor Adam Pritchard of the University of Michigan Law School – suggest a variety of ways that lead plaintiffs and courts can better serve their intended functions under the PSLRA. The authors’ February 2023 paper, entitled “The Business of Securities Class Action Lawyering,” can be found here.
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