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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

Guaranty Bank RMBS Lawsuits Dismissed As Time-Barred

udge Sam Sparks of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas granted judgment to defendants in two related cases filed by the FDIC on behalf Guaranty Bank (now defunct) arising out of Guaranty Bank’s...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

The Second Circuit Previews Issues for the Supreme Court Decision in Omnicare

In a preview of the issues raised in Omnicare, Inc. v. The Laborers District Council Construction, No. 13-435 (discussed here and here), the Second Circuit in Kaess v. Deutsche Bank AG, No. 13-2364 (2d Cir. July 16, 2014)...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Second Circuit upheld SEC Rule 10b-5-2 which defines certain types of relationships as the predicate for insider trading. In reaching its conclusion the Court rejected an argument that an insider trading claim must be...more

SEC Brings An Offering Fraud Action Against A Claimed App Maker

The SEC brought an action against a reputed “app” manufacturer who sold shares in two different entities beginning first in Colorado and later from Georgia. From each location, and for each entity, the sales pitch was...more

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

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending August 15, 2014)

The Commission prevailed in two litigated actions. In one the agency secured a favorable jury verdict in an action centered on misrepresentations made by an investment adviser who sought to move his book of business to a new...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

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

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

Judge Rakoff Approves SEC’s $285M Settlement With Citigroup

On remand following a Second Circuit decision vacating his June 2011 rejection of a settlement between Citigroup and the SEC, Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York approved the settlement, finding that it met...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

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

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

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