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Defeating Class Certification: Halliburton II Ruling Impacts Securities Class Action Issues

In its June 23, 2014 opinion in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. (“Halliburton II”), the United States Supreme Court addressed two securities class action issues: 1. It affirmed the validity of the...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review - August 18, 2014

FHFA Seeks Input on Single Security Structure for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - On August 12, FHFA published a Request for Input on the proposed structure for a Single Security that would be issued and guaranteed by...more

10th Circuit Relies On Earnings Release and Compliance with Regulation S-K to Reject Claim of Material Omissions in Public...

In United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 880 Pension Fund v. Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of the complaint on a motion for summary...more

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Important Decision Affecting Fiduciaries of ESOPs

In a recent decision, Fifth Third Bankcorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 189 L.Ed. 2d 457 (2014), the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the “presumption of prudence” previously given to fiduciaries of employee-owned stock ownership plans (ESOPs)...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Securities Fraud Class Certification, Remands for Evidence to Rebut Presumption of Market Efficiency

In Local 703 v. Regions Financial Corp., No. 12:14168 (Aug. 6, 2014), the Eleventh Circuit reviewed the certification of a securities fraud class action brought by investors against Regions for allegedly misrepresenting its...more

11th Circuit Opts For Flexibility over Predictability in Securities Fraud Class Actions

Securities fraud class actions tend to be battles that come to a head at the class certification stage. If the plaintiff group can certify a class, a large settlement often follows. If class certification fails, the case...more

Three New Weapons to Combat Shareholder Litigation

Over the past several years there has been an overwhelming abundance of class action shareholder litigation. A study by Cornerstone Research found that in 2013 alone, 94% of mergers and acquisitions worth over $100 million...more

SEC Prevails in Pump and Dump Trial

Following a four day jury trial the SEC prevailed, securing a favorable verdict on its claims against defendant Edward Hayter. See SEC Press Release (Aug. 8, 2014). The action centered on a microcap fraud, a key enforcement...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Fed Issues Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households - On August 7, the Fed provided a snapshot of the self-perceived financial and economic well-being of U.S. households and the issues they face, based on...more

Litigation Alert: Ninth Circuit Issues Key Ruling on Pleading of Loss Causation in Securities Class Actions

Loos v. Immersion Corp., et. al., Case No. 12-15100, ---F.3d--- (9th Cir. 2014) - On August 7, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued a key opinion on the pleading of loss causation in securities class actions, ruling for the...more

Securities Class Actions and IPOs Increased In The First Half of 2014

The number of securities class actions filed in the first half of this year increased compared to the same period last year. During the same period the number of IPOs increased significantly, suggesting that in the future...more

Wisconsin Adopts Twombly, Though "No One Is Sure What Twombly Means"

In Data Key Partners v. Permira Advisers LLC, 2014 WI 86, the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted the “plausibility” pleading standard articulated by the United States Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544...more

Fourth Circuit Adopts More Demanding Test for Exercise of Objective Prudence by Retirement Plan Fiduciaries -Tatum v. RJR Pension...

In the latest ruling in a long-running battle arising from company stock fund divestments, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has underscored the importance of procedural prudence in the management of plan...more

Court Limits Scope of SEC Disgorgement In Case Involving Failure to Disclose Beneficial Interests

Just last week, Judge Scheindlin from the Southern District of New York precluded the SEC from seeking wide-ranging disgorgement in an order issued in the SEC v. Wyly, 10-cv-5760 (S.D.N.Y.) case....more

Supreme Court Sets New Standards for ERISA Stock-Drop Cases

In the Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer decision issued June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the “Moench presumption”, a presumption of prudence for employer stock held in an ESOP or a 401(k) plan company...more

Supreme Court Rules No Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries

The United States Supreme Court clarified the duty of prudence that employee stock ownership plan fiduciaries owe to plan participants in its June 25, 2014 decision Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer 134 S.Ct. 2459 (U.S....more

Texas Supreme Court's Recent Shareholder Oppression Opinions Reaffirm Primacy of Common Law Fiduciary Duties Under Gearhart

In three recent cases, the Texas Supreme Court has made it clear that for claims of "minority shareholder oppression" — essentially, acts of a majority shareholder group that are harmful to a minority shareholder without...more

Your D&O Insurance Policy Post-Halliburton

In its recent, highly anticipated decision in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, the U.S. Supreme Court declined an invitation to overturn the so-called “fraud on the market” presumption applicable to securities class...more

A New Reality for ESOP Fiduciaries - Company Stock Investments for Employee Participants in Retirement Plans of Public and...

For the ESOP fiduciary of a publicly traded employer, the Supreme Court has made clear that non-public insider information is not required to be used in reaching a decision to buy, hold or sell employer securities....more

Omnicare Petitioners and the United States Battle Over the Scope of Liability for Registration Statements

The Petitioners in Omnicare, Inc. v. The Laborers District Council Construction, No. 13-435 came out swinging in their opening merits brief to the Supreme Court, which granted certiorari earlier this year. See Brief of...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 29

In this issue: - SEC Approves FINRA Rule Limiting Expungement - CFTC Issues No-Action Relief from Certain Ownership and Control Reporting Requirements - CFTC Releases Rule Enforcement Review of ICE...more

Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Special "Presumption of Prudence" For Investment in Employer Stock

In the past, fiduciaries of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and other defined contribution plans that invest in employer stock generally have been able to rely on a special “presumption of prudence” in court when...more

Hedge Funds and Material Nonpublic Information: The Role of Deception, Duty, Breach, Personal Benefit and Knowledge in Creating...

The last thing hedge funds need is another wake up call about the risks of liability for trading on the basis of material nonpublic information. But if they did, a July 17 article in the Wall Street Journal would provide it....more

What Does the Supreme Court’s Ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer Mean for ESOPs and Other Retirement Plan Fiduciaries?

Fiduciaries of qualified retirement plans, including Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), have generally been entitled to a presumption that they have acted prudently in offering employer stock as an investment alternative...more

District Court Clarifies Statute of Repose Timeline in Material Misstatement Case

The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently dismissed a class action claim, determining the reasserted claim violated the applicable statute of repose that requires all claims be brought within three...more

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