Largely due to a significant decline in the number of filings during May and June, the number of federal court securities class action lawsuit filings in the first half of 2020 was well below the number of filings at the same point last year – although still well above long-term historical levels. The number of first half filings was significantly boosted by a cluster of securities suit filings against cryptocurrency companies that were sued on a single day in April, as well as by the number of coronavirus outbreak-related securities suits.
Continue Reading Securities Suit Filings Decline in Year’s First Half

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

As readers know, since the beginning the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., I have been tracking the coronavirus-related D&O lawsuits as they are filed. As the lawsuits have started to accumulate, one challenge has been keeping a firm grasp on what it is that makes a lawsuit coronavirus-related. In the following post, I discuss two recently filed securities class action lawsuits that after some deliberation I have decided to include on the list of coronavirus-related securities suits. Though I have included them on the list, I will be the first to acknowledge that that the inclusion of these lawsuits, particularly the second of the two discussed below, is not beyond question. My hope is that by going through my logic for including the two lawsuits and my reasoning for including them on the list that readers will weigh in and share their thoughts about whether either or both of these lawsuits properly should be classified as coronavirus-related. I describe the two recently-filed lawsuits below, along with a description  of my reasons for including them on the list.
Continue Reading Do These Two New Lawsuits Belong on the List of COVID-19-Related Securities Suits? 

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

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

Priya Cherian Huskins

As I have noted in prior posts (most recently here), there have already been at least two coronavirus-related securities class action lawsuits filed. In the following guest post, Priya Cherian Huskins, takes a look at these first pandemic-related cases and compares and contrasts them with general securities litigation filings patters. She also takes a look at the implications of the cases for coronavirus-related company disclosures.  Priya is a Senior Vice President and Partner at Woodruff Sawyer. A version of this article previously appeared in the D&O Notebook. I would like to thank Priya for allowing me to publish her 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 Priya’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Coronavirus: An Update on Securities Suits and on Updating Company Disclosures

Among the more significant securities class action filing trends in recent years has been the rise in event-driven litigation – that is, lawsuits based on adverse developments in the defendant company’s business operations, as opposed to allegations based on alleged financial or accounting misrepresentation. But while event-driven suits arguably have garnered the most attention, the reality is that the number of federal court securities class action lawsuits involving accounting allegations was at “record levels” in 2019, at least when merger-related accounting suits are taken into account. According to a new report from Cornerstone Research, the number of securities suit filings in 2019 involving accounting allegations was nearly double the historical average. The March 25, 2020 report, entitled “Accounting Class Action Filings and Settlements: 2019 Review and Analysis” can be found here. Cornerstone Research’s press release describing the report can be found here.
Continue Reading Accounting-Related Securities Suit Filings at “Record Levels” in 2019

As I have detailed in prior posts, U.S. securities class action lawsuit filings remained at historically high levels in 2019. Among the 2019 securities suit filings were significant number of lawsuits filed against non-U.S. companies with U.S. listings. As detailed in a new report from the Dechert law firm, there was an uptick in 2019 the number of U.S. securities lawsuits filed against non-U.S. companies compared with the year prior. The Dechert report also details a number of trends with respect to filings against non-U.S. companies, as well as the trends with respects to dispositive motions in these cases. The March 11, 2020 report can be found here.
Continue Reading Non-U.S. Companies with U.S Listings Continue to Face Significant U.S. Securities Suit Exposure

As previously reported (here), 2019 was a relatively slow year for securities class action lawsuit settlements compared to 2018. However, there were a number of significant securities lawsuit recoveries and the total recoveries in the aggregate were for at least some law firms quite substantial. In a March 11, 2020 report entitled “The Top 50 of 2019,” ISS Securities Class Action Services sets out a list of the top 50 law firms  — ranked by total cash amount and by number of cash settlements – with respect to final securities class action lawsuit settlements in 2019 in North America (inclusive of both the U.S. and Canada). ISS’s report can be found here.
Continue Reading ISS Ranks 2019 Top Plaintiffs’ Securities Class Action Firms