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What Does It Take to Make the SEC Happy? SEC Criticism of Broker-Dealers’ Due Diligence for Sales of Unregistered Securities...

To ensure that broker-dealers (BDs) do not inadvertently facilitate an unlawful distribution of securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission has long required BDs to conduct a “reasonable inquiry” into the circumstances...more

Court Takes Cue from Comcast v. Behrend, Certifies Class as to Liability but not Damages

In what appears to be an increasingly common practice since the Supreme Court decided Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S.Ct. 1426 (2013), the Southern District of New York recently certified a class as to liability, but rejected...more

Loss Causation In A Securities Fraud Case From a Stream of Small Disclosures

A critical element in a Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 securities fraud claim for damages is loss causation. Mandated as a key component of such a claim by the PSLRA, the element provides the essential link between the alleged...more

Second Circuit To Decide Retroactivity of Dodd-Frank Bounty Provision

As discussed in a Law360 article by Ed Beeson, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals will decide in Stryker v. SEC, No. 13-cv-4404, whether the SEC needs to pay Dodd-Frank whistleblower bounties to tipsters who provided...more

Should've, Would've, Could've: High Court Rules On The Use Of Hindsight In The Valuation Of A Target Company

In Ageas (UK) Ltd v Kwik-Fit (GB) Ltd & anr [2014] EWHC 2178 (QB), 4 July 2014, in a claim for breach of warranty under a share purchase agreement, the defendant's warranty and indemnity insurer, AIG, argued that the...more

In re Nine Systems Corp. S'holders Litig., Consol. C.A. No. 3940-VCN (Del. Ch. Sept. 4, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this 146-page post-trial opinion addressing claims challenging a 2002 recapitalization of Nine Systems Corporation (“Nine Systems”), the Court of Chancery held that a conflicted transaction resulting in a fair price...more

Morgan Stanley Settles MBS Class Action with Pension Funds

On September 8, a stipulation and agreement of settlement was filed in relation to an action brought against Morgan Stanley & Co. by a group of pension funds led by Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi and the...more

Disclosing Merger Negotiations: The Eleventh Circuit Weighs In

Corporate merger negotiations are typically conducted under a veil of secrecy, with public disclosure withheld until the end when a definitive agreement has been signed. The fear is that premature disclosure of preliminary...more

Loginovskaya v. Batratchenko: The Second Circuit Limits the Reach of Commodities Fraud Claims

In Loginovskaya v. Batratchenko (“Loginovskaya”), the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in a 2-1 opinion that private commodities fraud claims under the Commodity Exchange Act (the “CEA”) may proceed only if...more

Second Circuit Affirms No Extraterritorial Application For Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provision

In Liu v. Siemens A.G., No. 13-cv-4385, 2014 WL 3953672 (2d Cir. Aug. 14, 2014), the Second Circuit affirmed that the anti-retaliation provision in Section 922 of Dodd-Frank does not apply extraterritorially. This post...more

Whistleblowers Fight Over SEC Award

It was predictable someone would submit a phony whistleblower claim, and I suppose it was predictable there would be a fight over an actual award, like co-workers diving for a share of proceeds from an office pool lottery...more

Delaware Court Denies Attorneys’ Fees for Stockholders in Appraisal Proceedings

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently held that certain stockholders who launched appraisal proceedings challenging a merger lacked standing to obtain reimbursement of attorneys’ fees from a $10.7 million settlement in a...more

In re Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. S'holders Litig., Consol. C.A. No. 8917-VCL (Del. Ch. Aug. 25, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

The Delaware Court of Chancery denied a request by the parties to enter a proposed order withdrawing plaintiffs’ counsel’s request for the Court to retain jurisdiction to determine an award of attorneys’ fees and closing a...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

Profits Do Not Always Equal Disgorgement

Judge Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York recently rejected the SEC’s attempt to seek disgorgement of almost $500,000,000 from Samuel Wyly and Donald R. Miller Jr., the Independent Executor of the Will and Estate...more

SEC Request For O&D Bar Denied

A frequently used remedy in Commission enforcement actions is the officer and director bar. A permanent bar has the very harsh effect of precluding the person from being an officer or director of any public company. That, of...more

Fee Award Nixed After Client Abandons Case

In a neat, short opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court dealt with a situation that the chief justice characterized as "Kafkaesque" at oral argument and "unusual" in the written opinion. In Crothall v. Zimmerman, No. 608, 2013...more

SEC Waives Whistleblower Eligibility Requirements to Issue $400,000 Award

On July 31, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued a $400,000 whistleblower award to an individual who provided information leading to a successful SEC enforcement action. The SEC’s...more

SEC Commissioner Objects to Retroactive Application of Dodd-Frank Bars

Commissioner Gallagher recently filed this opinion dissenting in part with respect to In the Matter of John W. Lawton. The matter arose out of the alleged misconduct of respondent John W. Lawton, who purportedly committed...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

The Texas Supreme Court Decision in Ritchie v. Rupe

On June 20, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Ritchie v. Rupe, 2014 Tex. LEXIS 500 (Tex. 2014). In Ritchie, a minority shareholder in a closely held corporation attempted to force the majority shareholders...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

SEC Waives Rule and Reverses Course to Grant Whistleblower Windfall

In August 2013 the SEC whistleblower claims review staff issued a preliminary determination and recommended a whistleblower claim be denied. Although the record demonstrated that the claimant provided original information to...more

Amending Your Bylaws to Mitigate the Cost of Shareholder Litigation: Fee-shifting and forum selection provisions

Shareholder litigation is on the rise, increasing the cost of doing business; and companies often face litigation on multiple fronts, further increasing litigation exposure. In 2013, 94 percent of M&A deals were challenged by...more

SEC Efforts To Compel SIPIC Coverage For Stanford Victims Rejected

The D.C. Circuit rejected efforts by the SEC to compel the Securities Investor Protection Corporation to liquidate a broker-dealer that was part of the Stanford Ponzi scheme empire. The investors had purchased CDs from an...more

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