One of the most important ways a company can try to avoid potential liability under the federal securities laws is to incorporate precautionary disclosure in its public statements and regulatory filings. However, in a June 23, 2015 decision in In re Harman International Industries Securities Litigation (here), the D.C. Circuit provided a reminder to companies on the importance of keeping their precautionary disclosures up-to-date.
In the following guest post, Bruce A. Ericson and Stacie Kinser of the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP law firm take a detailed look at the D.C. Circuit’s recent opinion and consider the decision’s practical implications for companies’ precautionary disclosures. Ericson is a partner and Kinser is an associate at the Pillsbury law firm. Ericson is also Managing Partner of Pillsbury’s San Francisco Office, and Co-Head of Pillsbury’s Securities Litigation and Enforcement Team. A version of this article previously was published as a Pillsbury client alert and on Law 360.
I would like to thank Bruce and Stacie for their willingness to publish their article as a guest post on my 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 Bruce and Stacie’s guest post.
SEC Rule 10b-5 makes it unlawful to misstate a material fact (or omit to say something if the omission would render misleading what you do say) in connection with the purchase or sale of a security. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) created a safe harbor for statements that are forward-looking and accompanied by meaningful cautionary language. In a recent decision, the D.C. Circuit revisited the standard for forward-looking statements, and placed special emphasis on the accompanying cautionary language, holding that statements which fail to account for historical facts cannot be meaningful. The opinion should serve as a timely reminder for companies to review and update their cautionary language.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Court of Appeals Warns Against Complacency in the PSLRA’s Safe Harbor