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Supreme Court Axes "Presumption of Prudence" in ESOP Stock-Drop Cases

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that gives comfort to "stock-drop" plaintiffs and may cause shockwaves among employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) fiduciary committees. In Fifth Third Bancorp v....more

Supreme Court Rejects “Presumption of Prudence,” Adopts New Pleading Standards in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued its highly anticipated decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, No. 12-751. In an opinion written by Justice Breyer for a unanimous court, the Supreme Court held...more

SEC Settles with Hedge Fund Adviser over Principal Transactions and Retaliation Against Whistleblower

The SEC settled administrative proceedings against an investment adviser, Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. (the “Adviser”), and Candace King Weir, the Adviser’s principal owner (the “Principal”), over violations of the...more

The Supreme Court Of The United States Holds That ESOP Fiduciaries Are Not Entitled To A Presumption Of Prudence, Clarifies...

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that there is no special presumption of prudence for fiduciaries of employee stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”). Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, No....more

ESOP Fiduciaries Not Entitled to Presumption of Prudence

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that there is no presumption of prudence for fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) who invest in employer securities. The case...more

Supreme Court Abolishes Presumption of Prudence in ERISA Stock-Drop Cases But Sets High Bar for Plaintiffs

In an opinion that reversed nearly two decades of lower-court ERISA class action jurisprudence, the Supreme Court axed the well-established “presumption of prudence” in ERISA “stock-drop” cases. On June 25, the Court issued...more

ESOPs’ Fables: On Winning Wars but Losing Battles

As the end of the Supreme Court term approached, decisions came down fast and furious. Last week’s big decisions, at least around our nerdish water cooler, were Halliburton and Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer. (Yes, we...more

Supreme Court’s Dudenhoeffer Decision Headlines New ERISA Litigation Update

Goodwin Procter’s ERISA Litigation Practice published its latest quarterly ERISA Litigation Update. The update discusses (1) the Supreme Court’s ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer that there is no “presumption of...more

SEC Enforces First-Ever Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently entered into a $2.2 million settlement agreement with Paradigm Capital Management Inc. and its owner Candace King Weir, in its first-ever action enforcing whistleblower...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Stock Drop Challenge on Grounds Unrelated to Moench

Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the central issue in nearly every case alleging the imprudent investment of plan assets in employer stock has revolved around whether plan...more

The Danger of Retaliating Against Whistleblowers

Every company claims that they encourage a “speak up” culture. As part of a “speak up” culture, companies encourage managers and employees to raise concerns about potential violations and promise not to retaliate against...more

SEC Brings First Whistleblower Retaliation Enforcement Action

In announcing its first enforcement action for retaliating against a whistleblower, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sends a strong message to firms: it is serious about bringing charges against companies...more

Dudenhoeffer Eschews Moench Presumption But Encourages Careful Scrutiny Of Complaints: Future for ERISA Stock-Drop Litigation Is...

Certain retirement plans, such as employee stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”), are specifically designed to invest all or a portion of their assets in stock of the sponsoring employer. For nearly twenty years, the federal courts...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2014

In This Issue: - Rulings, Opinions, Etc. ..Validating Rollover Contributions: New Guidance - Case ..Stock Drop Case Development: The Supreme Court Rejects The Presumption Of Prudence ..Dividend...more

Supreme Court Nixes "Presumption of Prudence" in Employer Stock Cases

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected the "presumption of prudence" that had been applied by lower courts in cases where a retirement plan holds stock of the employer sponsoring the plan. Fifth Third...more

Seventh Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in Case Applying ERISA’s Statute of Limitations

A Seventh Circuit panel declined to apply ERISA’s three-year statute of limitations to bar fiduciary claims in a case arising out of a buy-out transaction involving an employee stock ownership plan. The court held that the...more

Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter #41

We are pleased to present the 41st edition of the Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter. This month, we highlight recent Supreme Court cases that address securities class actions, copyright law, and...more

SEC Makes First Finding of Retaliation in Violation of the Exchange Act’s Anti-Retaliation Rule

On June 16, 2014, the SEC entered an order (the “Order”) instituting cease and desist proceedings against an investment adviser, Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. (“Paradigm”), and Paradigm’s founder, Director, President,...more

ESOP Fiduciaries Lose “Presumption of Prudence”

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held last week that employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) investment in employer stock is not entitled to a special ERISA “presumption of prudence”. The decision provides important guidance for...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Presumption of Prudence For Fiduciaries Investing in Employer Securities

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer unanimously held that no special presumption of prudence applies under ERISA for investments in employer stock. The case involved a form of employee...more

In ERISA Stock Drop Case, Supreme Court Giveth and Taketh Away on Moench Presumption

The U.S. Supreme Court recently eviscerated a key protection against stock drop lawsuits filed by participants in defined contribution plans that hold employer stock as an investment. In Fifth Third Bancorp et al. v....more

Supreme Court Rules No “Presumption of Prudence” for Employer Stock Plan Fiduciaries

In a decision that could have significant implications for certain companies and their 401(k) and other plans that invest in employer stock, the Supreme Court ruled, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, that there is no...more

Supreme Court Rejection of Duty of Prudence Presumption—What Does it Mean for Retirement Plans?

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer that there is no “presumption” of prudence extended to fiduciaries of employer stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”) in...more

One, Two Punch for Moench – Supreme Court Eliminates Presumption for Employer Stock Investments

The United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion on June 25, 2014 in the case of Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer. While the Supreme Court’s holding substantially affects the fiduciaries of all employee stock...more

U.S. Supreme Court Releases Two Major Securities Opinions

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in Halliburton Co. v. Erica B. John Fund, Inc., (U.S., No. 13-317)( Halliburton II), and for a second time vacated a decision by the Fifth Circuit on whether the...more

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