One of the procedural innovations the PSLRA introduced was the requirement that plaintiffs’ counsel who file a securities class action lawsuit complaint must issue a press release announcing the complaint’s filing and notifying prospective class members of the opportunity to seek to become lead plaintiff. Plaintiffs’ lawyers quickly realized the potential publicity value for them

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.Continue Reading The Plaintiffs’ Law Firms’ Securities Litigation Business

Nessim Mezrahi

The length of the class period is one of the most significant variables in defining the make-up of the plaintiff class in securities class action litigation. As discussed in the following guest post from Nessim Mezrahi, the length of the class period not only affects the aggregate damages of the class but it also could be a key factor in the selection of the lead plaintiff. As a result, Mezrahi suggests, the length of the class period is a consideration that deserves greater attention. Mezrahi is cofounder and CEO of SAR, a securities class action data analytics and software company.  A version of this article previously was published on Law 360. 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: Securities Class Period Selection Deserves Greater Scrutiny

us capitolIn the early days of the Trump presidency, the new administration has made it clear that it is going to tackle perceived regulatory excess. The new President has also made it clear that he intends to reform the Dodd-Frank Act. In keeping with these initiatives, a Republican congressman has now introduced a legislative proposal to reform class action litigation. According to his February 10, 2017 press release (here), Rep. Rob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act (H.R. 985) to “keep baseless class action suits away from innocent parties, while still keeping the doors to justice open for parties with real and legitimate claims.” The Bill, which is a grab bag of proposed procedural reforms clearly intended make class action litigation more difficult, addresses a host of concerns and includes some surprising features, including, among other things, a provision that would address third party litigation funding.
Continue Reading Major Class Action Reform Legislation Introduced in Congress