Material Misstatements

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This Week In Securities Litigation

Numbers were the focus this week as the Commission filed 81 administrative proceedings (must be near fiscal year end) and two civil injunctive actions. Seventy-one of the actions involved municipal issuers who self-reported...more

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Accepts Materialization-of-Risk Standard for Loss Causation

On July 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recognized the “materialization of the risk” standard as a means of proving loss causation in securities-fraud cases. The court’s decision in Ohio Public...more

Is Rule 10b-5 The “Mother Of All Litotes”?

Yesterday’s post addressed the use of litotes in California’s broker-dealer suitability rule. Litotes can be an effective rhetorical device, but as Judge Frank H. Easterbrook observed, it is also ambiguous. Associated...more

Attorneys must be precise in representations to court

On May 19, Judge Andrew Hanen of the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a scathing order criticizing the conduct of several Department of Justice attorneys defending the federal government against a...more

Bank of America Settles RMBS Actions for $190 Million

On April 25, 2016, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle (“FHLBS”) agreed to a $190 million settlement with Bank of America in connection with multiple lawsuits filed in 2010 stemming from the sale of hundreds of millions of...more

Eighth Circuit Reverses District Court for Ignoring Price-Impact Evidence That Rebutted the Fraud-on-the-Market Presumption and...

In IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund v. Best Buy Co., Inc., No. 14-3178 (8th Cir. Apr. 12, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held, in a Rule 10b-5 securities fraud action, that the district court...more

SanDisk defeats Walker Process Claim

The District Court for the Northern District of California granted defendant SanDisk’s motion for summary judgment in Giuliano, et al v. SanDisk Corp., et al, 4:10-cv-02787 (N.D. Cal. April 29, 2016). The plaintiffs had...more

Eighth Circuit Becomes First Appellate Court to Apply Halliburton II Price Impact Analysis

The Eighth Circuit has become the first federal circuit court to apply the Supreme Court’s Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2398 (2014) (Halliburton II) decision. Relying on Halliburton II, the Eighth...more

SEC Sanctions Audit Firm, Partner Tied to Custody Rule

Custody Rule cases are rapidly becoming a staple of SEC enforcement. Rule 206(4)-2 requires registered investment advisers with custody of client funds or securities to implement certain controls to protect those assets....more

Split 8th Circuit Rejects Class Certification in 10b-5 Case

In IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund v. Best Buy Co. Inc., Plaintiffs alleged that misleading statements by Best Buy officers made during a phone call with stock analysts artificially supported Best Buy’s stock prices until a report...more

Second Circuit Narrowly Applies Supreme Court’s Decision in Omnicare

In In re Sanofi Securities Litigation, No. 15-588-cv, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4107 (2d Cir. Mar. 4, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of class action complaints alleging that...more

One Year Later: Omnicare’s Effect on Opinion Liability

One year ago today, in Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, 135 S.Ct. 1318 (2015), the Supreme Court created a new test for opinion liability under Section 11 of the Securities Act,...more

Blog: In Re Sanofi: 2d Circuit Considers Misleading Statements Of Opinion After Omnicare

In an early appellate decision applying Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, a three-judge panel of the 2d Circuit, on March 4, issued its opinion in In re Sanofi. The plaintiffs...more

Second Circuit Upholds Sanofi Dismissal Despite Omnicare

In its first published opinion applying the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, 135 S. Ct. 1318 (2015), the 2nd Circuit has offered relief to...more

Second Circuit’s First Published Opinion Applying Omnicare Adopts Strong Contextual Approach to Opinion Statement Liability

In Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, 135 S.Ct. 1318 (2015) (“Omnicare”), the Supreme Court pronounced the standard for determining whether a statement of opinion is actionable...more

National Credit Union Administration Board Accepts UBS Securities LLC Offer of Judgment

On February 25, the National Credit Union Administration Board (“NCUA”) accepted an offer of judgment tendered by UBS Securities LLC (“UBS”) in the amount of $33,014,285 plus prejudgment interest, which will be calculated by...more

Related Party Transactions under PCAOB AS 18 Audits: Experiences from the First Year

The 2015 audit was the first one for most companies under the PCAOB’s Auditing Standard 18, Related Parties. This Auditing Standard created new and expanded audit procedures for related party transactions; significant unusual...more

Winery Equity Crowdfunding Raises Opportunities, Risks

Many are familiar with the rewards-based model of crowdfunding popularized by websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The basic idea is that a group of individuals — the “crowd” — contributes funds to a company or project in...more

SEC Sanctions Alt Fund Asset Manager for Fee Overcharges and Misleading Investors

On January 19, 2016, the SEC settled proceedings against a Denver-based asset manager for material misstatements made in the offer and sale of units of a publicly-registered managed futures fund. The SEC found that the...more

FERC enforcement report cites screenshots, keylogger

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued an Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty against Coaltrain Energy, L.P. and six individuals relating to alleged fraudulent transactions in PJM Interconnection...more

Second Circuit Broadens Scope Of Expert Testimony Admissible In White-Collar Fraud Trials

In United States v. Litvak, 14-2902, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the conviction of a securities trader after concluding that the district court erroneously excluded his proffered expert witnesses....more

First Circuit Overturns SEC Ruling in Flannery v. SEC

The First Circuit’s decision underscores the limits of court deference to Commission decisions, gives teeth to the “substantial evidence” standard of review, and provides a valuable roadmap for evaluating and defending...more

Limiting Securities Litigation Risks in EB-5 Offerings: What Regional Centers and Issuers Need to Know

The flurry of federal suits filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the past few months against several companies and individuals for alleged fraud and false statements in soliciting foreign investors...more

SEC Sanctions Adviser for Misstatements in Advertisements, Client Presentations and Regulatory Filings

The SEC found that a registered investment adviser that operates as a “manager of managers” misstated a sub-adviser’s investment performance in communications with its clients, potential clients and the SEC. According to the...more

The PCAOB’s Enhanced Auditor Performance Standards–Be Sure You’re Ready

A little over a year ago the PCAOB issued new Auditing Standard No. 18, which enhanced auditor performance standards in three significant areas of a company’s audit: - Company relationships and transactions with related...more

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