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ParkCentral v. Porsche: The Second Circuit Signals New Lines of Defense to Extraterritorial Securities Fraud Claims

In ParkCentral Global Hub Ltd. v. Porsche Automobile Holdings SE (“ParkCentral”), the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that domestic securities transactions that did not involve the foreign defendant, whose...more

SEC Charges Colorado Woman and Her Two Companies with Offering Fraud

On August 15, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Heidi Ann Gamer and two companies under her control, Gamer Economic Systems, LLC and Gamer Media Partners Corp. The SEC alleged that between...more

Court Rules LLC Form Provided No Fiduciary Shield To Personal Jurisdiction

Last Friday’s post concerned whether a plaintiff could establish jurisdiction by tagging a corporate officer attending a conference in California. The question was whether a corporation is present wherever its officers are...more

SEC Files Financial Fraud Action

Financial fraud is an enforcement priority of the SEC. A financial fraud task force was formed in July 2013. Its purpose is to focus on this traditional staple of enforcement. A data analysis group was formed at the same time...more

SEC Prevails in Jury Trial Against IA and Principal

The Commission prevailed in another jury trial this week, securing a favorable verdict against a registered investment adviser, Sage Advisory Group, LLC, and its principal, Benjamin Grant. SEC v. Sage Advisory Group, LLC,...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

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

SEC Brings Fraud Charges Against Oil and Gas Company and Its CEO

On August 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission instituted cease-and-desist proceedings against Houston American Energy Corp., an oil and gas exploration and production company, and John F. Terwilliger, its CEO, for...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 Can’t Pass On Pot Stock Puffery

Corporations facing federal securities suits can sometimes avoid liability by claiming that their forward-looking statements were so vague or indefinite that they could not have affected the company’s stock price and are...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

SEC Charges Corporate Officers with Fraud Arising from Failure to Disclose Internal Controls Issues and Alleged Misrepresentations...

On July 30, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) advanced a novel theory of fraud against the former CEO (Marc Sherman) and CFO (Edward Cummings) of Quality Services Group, Inc. (“QSGI”), a Florida-based...more

Former Chief Operating Officer Settles SEC Fraud Claims

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that Peter Jenson, the former chief operating officer of Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, agreed to pay a $200,000 civil penalty to resolve charges that he aided the...more

SEC Obtains Nearly $70 Million Judgment Based On Prior Jury Verdict

The SEC obtained a judgment for nearly $70 million in a fraud action based on a jury verdict obtained last fall. SEC v. AIC, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:11-cv-00176 (E.D. Tenn.). The action named as defendants the AIC, Community...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

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

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

Delaware Court Dismisses Shareholder Class Action Suit Attacking Corporate Merger

Almost every proposed corporate merger is met with a shareholder suit against the acquiring company, merger target and the target’s board of directors in which the shareholders assert that the board breached its fiduciary...more

Chancery Court Provides Additional Room for Shareholders Challenging Change of Control Transactions

What you need to know: In its recent decision in Chen v. Howard-Anderson, Delaware’s Court of Chancery held that directors and officers may be found to have acted in bad faith, thereby breaching their fiduciary duty of...more

The SEC, An Idea, Insider Trading And The Wyly Case

The SEC got a much needed courtroom win with a jury verdict in the Wyly case. The insider trading claim, however, was not submitted to the jury because any penalty was time barred. That claim, which was little more than the...more

Dent v. Ramtron Int’l Corp., C.A. No. 7950-VCP (Del. Ch. June 30, 2014) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims that defendants breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the sale of the defendant-corporation to a...more

SEC Resolves First Case Under New Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative

On July 8, 2014, the SEC announced that it had settled charges that a school district in California misled bond investors about its failure to comply with its continuing disclosure obligations under Rule 15c2-12 of the...more

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