It has been over ten years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Morrison v National Australia Bank – yet the lower courts continue to struggle with its application in specific situations. Morrison clarified that the U.S. securities laws apply to securities transactions on U.S. securities exchanges and to domestic transactions in other securities. It is Morrison’s second prong, relating to domestic transactions in other securities, that continues to vex the courts.

In a recent decision, the Second Circuit affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a securities lawsuit on the grounds that the underlying securities transaction, even if domestic, was so “predominantly foreign” as to be “impermissibly extraterritorial.” As discussed below, the Second Circuit’s decision underscores an ongoing question of how far beyond Morrison’s “domestic transaction” question courts should go in determining whether U.S. securities laws apply to a transaction. The Second Circuit’s January 25, 2021 decision in Cavello Bay Reinsurance Ltd v. Stein can be found here.
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