Securities Civil Procedure

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Hold the Phone: SEC Takes One Last Stand Before the Tenth Circuit regarding the Constitutionality of the SEC’s Administrative Law...

Last week, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filed a petition for rehearing en banc with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, imploring the court to reconsider a divided panel’s ruling on the...more

Eastern District Of New York Dismisses Securities Class Action, Finding That Online Marketplace Did Not Mislead Investors During...

On March 16, 2017, District Judge Ann M. Donnelly of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York dismissed with prejudice a putative class action against Etsy, Inc., its CEO, CFO, certain of its...more

Delaware District Court Allows Shareholder Class Action Suit To Proceed

On March 13, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware rejected LRR Energy L.P. (“LRR”) and Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC’s (“Vanguard”) motion to dismiss, allowing the putative shareholder class...more

Court Finds Lawsuit By Corporation Against Minority Shareholder Is “Protected Activity”

SLAPP is the initialization of the phrase “strategic lawsuit against public participation”. A more informative description of SLAPP suits is found in Simpson Strong-Tie Co., Inc. v. Gore, 49 Cal.4th 12, 21 (2010)...more

Proposed Judgment in Conflict Minerals Case

Pursuant to a court order, the parties to the conflict minerals case have filed a proposed judgment after they advised the court no further proceedings were necessary. The text of the proposed judgment is as follows...more

Chancery Court Holds That Squeezed Out Stockholders Lack Standing to Compel Inspection under DGCL § 220

On February 27, 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery addressed an important matter of first impression under Delaware law: "Must a plaintiff seeking corporate records under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law...more

Wendy’s Executives and Board File Motion to Dismiss

We previously reported that Wendy’s was hit with a putative class action shareholders’ derivative suit in December following its data breach in 2016. Late last week, the executives and Board of Wendy’s filed a Motion to...more

Important Decision by Massachusetts Supreme Court May Significantly Reduce Risk of Merger Litigation

The recent decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Loc. No. 129 Benefit Fund v. Tucci has the potential to significantly reduce merger litigation for publicly traded companies...more

Circuit Split Over Protection Afforded By Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision Widens

In Somers v. Digital Realty Trust, 15-17352 (9th Cir. March 8, 2017), a split Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals widened an existing circuit court split by ruling that Section 21F of the Dodd-Frank Act (“DFA”) protects...more

Chris Lazarini Examines Whether a Commodity Futures Contract is a "Security"

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini examined a case in which the appellate court upheld a jury verdict in favor of Plaintiff, finding commodity futures contracts are not "securities" and Plaintiff, who was trading them...more

Ninth Circuit Joins Second Circuit in Adopting Broad Definition of “Whistleblower” Under The Dodd-Frank Act

A divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc. that the Dodd-Frank Act’s definition of “whistleblower” includes not only those who disclose information...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

As anticipated (and hinted-at forcefully by its officials), the Fed raised the benchmark interest rate yesterday to a range nearing 1 percent, a move that signals the slow end to the body’s nine-year stimulus effort....more

"Another Mutual Fund Adviser Prevails at Trial in Excessive Fee Litigation"

Following a four-day bench trial, Judge Renee Marie Bumb of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled in favor of an adviser on claims brought under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act by investors...more

Investor Suits Follow in the Wake of Western Union Settlement of Money Laundering and Fraud Claims

On January 19, 2017, the Western Union Company (“Western Union” or the “Company”) entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) with the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), in which Western Union admitted to willful...more

Recent Pro-Cooperative Decisions in Class Action Patronage Capital Cases

Cooperatives facing patronage capital lawsuits have recently enjoyed a series of favorable court opinions. Over the past few months, the Eleventh Circuit and state and federal courts in Florida have all dismissed claims for...more

Chris Lazarini Discusses Heightened Pleading Standard Under Rule 9(b)

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini discussed the heightened pleading standard for claims of fraud under Rule 9(b) in an auction rate securities case....more

Ninth Circuit Widens the Circuit Split on Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowers

Last week, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust, Inc., No. 15-17352 (9th Cir. March 8, 2017), in which it held that the anti-retaliation protections of the...more

Southern District Of New York Dismisses Securities Fraud Claims, Finding There Was No Material Omission Regarding Association With...

On March 2, 2017, Judge Amos Mazzant III of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas dismissed an amended complaint filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) against the...more

Myths & Misconceptions of Biotech Securities Claims: An Analysis of Motion to Dismiss Results (2005-2016)

There is a common life cycle for Directors and Officers Liability for a publicly-traded biotechnology company bringing its first drug or device to the market. In the early stages, whether pre-clinical or Phase 1, there is...more

New York Appellate Court Dismisses CDO-Related Fraud Claims, Because Plaintiffs Failed To Show That Misrepresentations, Not Market...

On March 3, 2017, the First Department of the Appellate Division of New York Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s ruling and ordered summary judgment to be entered in favor of the defendant, TCW Asset Management Company...more

Massachusetts Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal Of Shareholder Class Action And Clarifies That Directors Generally Owe Fiduciary...

On March 6, 2017, in a decision authored by Justice Margot Botsford, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the dismissal of an action for breach of fiduciary duty brought by former shareholders of EMC Corporation...more

Death Knell to Merger Litigation for Massachusetts Corporations?

In IBEW Local No. 129 Benefit Fund v. Tucci, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) affirmed the dismissal of direct claims for breach of fiduciary duty by EMC shareholders challenging the merger of EMC and Dell, Inc....more

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal Of Caremark Action For Failure To Plead Bad Faith With Particularity

On March 3, 2017, the Supreme Court of the State of Delaware affirmed the dismissal of “Caremark” claims for alleged bad-faith failure of oversight brought derivatively by a stockholder against the directors of Qualcomm, Inc....more

SEC's Securities Fraud Lawsuit Against Texas Attorney General Dismissed For Second Time Over Lack Of Duty To Investors

On March 2, 2017, Judge Amos Mazzant III of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas dismissed an amended complaint filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) against the...more

Parties Request Judgment be Entered in Conflict Minerals Case

The conflict minerals case was remanded to the United Stated District Court for the District of Columbia for further proceedings. Judge Jackson ordered the parties to file a joint status report indicating whether any further...more

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