Priya Cherian Huskins

In a recent post, I took a look at the rise in the number of state court securities class action lawsuits that have been filed in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Cyan case. In the following guest post, Priya Cherian Huskins of Woodruff Sawyer & Co. takes a deeper look at the state court securities class action data to assess the extent of the threat of state court securities class action litigation relating to follow-on offerings. A version of this article was previously published in Woodruff-Sawyer’s D&O Notebook.  I would like to thank Priya for her willingness to allow 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.
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As readers will recall, in March 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court held in the Cyan case that state courts retain concurrent jurisdiction for liability actions under the Securities Act of 1933. Commentators have correctly identified this decision as primarily of concern to IPO companies. However, one question I regularly get is whether Cyan could mean that companies conducting secondary offerings could also face state court class action securities litigation. I have usually answered this question by saying that while it is theoretically possible, for a number of reasons I thought it was relatively unlikely. Besides, I usually have added, I am not aware of any class action lawsuits in which claimants have filed ’33 Act claims relating to a secondary offering in state court. That is, I was not aware – until now.
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One idea circulating since the U.S. Supreme Court held in Cyan that state court Section 11 actions are not removable to federal court is that companies could avoid state court actions by adopting a federal forum bylaw or charter provision. Indeed, a number of companies recently have adopted these provisions prior to going public. Late last year, a shareholder of several IPO companies filed an action in Delaware Chancery Court seeking a judicial declaration that the companies’ Federal Forum Provisions are invalid. On December 19, 2018, Vice Chancellor Travis Laster issued a memorandum opinion agreeing with the plaintiff and holding that under Delaware law, Federal Forum Provisions are invalid and ineffective. A copy of Laster’s opinion can be found here.
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Priya Cherian Huskins

One of the more interesting current issues in the securities litigation arena is the question of whether or not the concurrent jurisdiction provisions in the ’33 Act continue to afford state court jurisdiction for Section 11 securities class action lawsuits, or whether the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (SLUSA) superseded these provisions. As I noted in a recent post, a corporate defendant recently filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court to try to get the Court to take up this question. In the following guest post, Priya Cherian Huskins, of Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. examines three different “solutions” that have been proposed to address the ongoing question regarding concurrent state court jurisdiction for Section 11 class action lawsuits. One of the three proposed solutions in the cert petition recently filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, while the other two suggested solutions involve different alternative approaches, including one suggested by Stanford Law Professor Joseph Grundfest.
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kaganIn a March 24, 2015 opinion in Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund (here), the U.S. Supreme Court set aside the Sixth Circuit’s ruling that allegations of “objective falsity” were sufficient to make a statement of opinion in securities offering documents actionable. The Supreme Court remanded the case to

skadden_logo_noLLP_bigAs I discuss in the accompanying post, on March 24, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issues its opinion in the Omnicare case. In the following guest post, the Skadden law firm summarizes the case and its holding. A version of the guest post previously was published as a Skadden client alert. I would like

Led by Twitter’s successful offering earlier this year, IPO activity in the U.S. during 2013 has been at its highest levels since 2007. While the listing activity seems to bode well for the general economy as well as for the financial markets, the increased number of IPOs has also led to an uptick in IPO-related