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In these appeals arising from the dismissal of a securities fraud class action complaint, the complaint alleged that the Company conjured up and carried out a scheme that enabled surgeons to utilize the AxiaLIF system and secure fraudulent reimbursements from various health insurers and government-funded healthcare programs. In regard to appeal No. 15-2579, the Fourth Circuit held that the Complaint satisfied the misrepresentation and scienter elements of the section 10(b) claim of the Securities Exchange Act. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's ruling holding otherwise. In regard to appeal No. 16-1019, the court affirmed the district court's ruling that the complaint sufficiently alleged the loss causation element. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "Singer v. Reali" on Justia Law

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In these appeals arising from the dismissal of a securities fraud class action complaint, the complaint alleged that the Company conjured up and carried out a scheme that enabled surgeons to utilize the AxiaLIF system and secure fraudulent reimbursements from various health insurers and government-funded healthcare programs. In regard to appeal No. 15-2579, the Fourth Circuit held that the Complaint satisfied the misrepresentation and scienter elements of the section 10(b) claim of the Securities Exchange Act. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's ruling holding otherwise. In regard to appeal No. 16-1019, the court affirmed the district court's ruling that the complaint sufficiently alleged the loss causation element. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "Singer v. Reali" on Justia Law

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Metro, a managing clerk at a New York City law firm, engaged in a five-year scheme in which he disclosed material nonpublic information concerning corporate transactions to his friend Tamayo. Tamayo told his stockbroker, Eydelman, who made trades for Tamayo, himself, his family, his friends, and other clients. Metro did not hold the involved stocks himself and did not collect proceeds but relied on Tamayo to reinvest the proceeds from their unlawful trades in future insider trading. During the government’s investigation, Tamayo promptly admitted his role in the scheme and cooperated with the government. The insider trading based on Metro’s tips resulted in illicit gains of $5,673,682. The court attributed that entire sum to Metro in determining his 46-month sentence after Metro pled guilty to conspiracy to violate securities laws, 18 U.S.C. 371, and insider trading, 15 U.S.C. 78j(b) and 78ff. Metro denies being aware of Eydelman’s existence until one year after he relayed his last tip to Tamayo, and contends that he never intended any of the tips to be passed to a broker or any other third party. The Third Circuit vacated the sentence. The district court failed to make sufficient factual findings to support the attribution of the full $5.6 million to Metro and gave too broad a meaning to the phrase “acting in concert.” View "United States v. Metro" on Justia Law

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In 2014, Traci Salinas and Sharon Lee Stark, as shareholders of Sterne Agee Group, Inc. ("SAG") filed a shareholder-derivative action, on behalf of nominal defendant SAG, against James and William Holbrook and the nonHolbrook directors, who together composed the SAG board of directors. Salinas and Stark alleged that the Holbrooks had breached their fiduciary duty to the SAG shareholders by misusing, misappropriating, and wasting corporate assets and that the non-Holbrook directors had knowledge of, and had acquiesced in, the Holbrooks' alleged misconduct. In 2015, while Salinas and Stark's action was pending, SAG entered into a merger agreement with Stifel Financial Corp. ("Stifel") pursuant to which Stifel would acquire SAG ("the merger"). As a result of the merger, each share of certain classes of SAG stock was to be converted into a right of the shareholder to receive a pro rata share of merger consideration in cash and/or shares of Stifel common stock. The Holbrooks moved for summary judgment in which they argued that, under Delaware law, when a plaintiff in a shareholder-derivative action ceases to be a shareholder of the corporation on whose behalf the action was brought, the shareholder was divested of standing to continue prosecuting the derivative action. Thus, the Holbrooks argued, because Salinas and Wainwright were no longer SAG shareholders following the merger, they lacked standing to prosecute their derivative action and, the argument continued, the Holbrooks were entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. In response, Salinas and Wainwright amended their complaint to allege that a merger "cannot absolve fiduciaries from accountability for fraudulent conduct that necessitated the merger." Rather, they maintained, "such conduct gives rise to a direct claim that survives the merger, as the injury caused by such misconduct is suffered by the shareholders rather than the corporation, and thereby supports a direct cause of action." Subsequently, the parties filed a stipulation of dismissal in which they dismissed Salinas from the action, leaving Wainwright as the sole plaintiff. The Alabama Supreme Court determined that a May 2017 trial court order did not come within the subject-matter-jurisdiction exception to the general rule that the denial of a motion to dismiss or a motion for a summary judgment was not reviewable by petition for a writ of mandamus. “The petitioners have an adequate remedy by way of appeal should they suffer an adverse judgment. Accordingly, we deny the petitions.” View "Ex parte Jon S. Sanderson et al." on Justia Law

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LSTA represents firms that serve as investment managers of open-market collateralized loan obligations (CLO). LSTA challenged the defendant agencies' decision, embodied in the Credit Risk Retention Rule, to apply the credit risk retention requirements to managers of CLOs in section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The DC Circuit agreed with LSTA that, given the nature of the transactions performed by CLO managers, the language of the statute invoked by the agencies does not encompass their activities. Because CLO managers were not "securitizers" under section 941, the managers need not retain any credit risk. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment of the district court and remanded with instructions to grant summary judgment to LSTA. View "The Loan Syndications and Trading Assoc. v. SEC" on Justia Law

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SPV, the assignee of Optimal Strategic, filed suit against UBS and its affiliated entities and individuals (collectively, Access), alleging that UBS and Access aided and abetted the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC and Bernard L. Madoff by sponsoring and providing support for two European-based feeder funds. The district court subsequently denied SPV's motion to remand the matter to state court and then granted separate motions to dismiss the complaint. The Second Circuit held that it had jurisdiction over this appeal; this litigation was "related to" the Madoff/BLMIS bankruptcies; the USB defendants lacked sufficient contacts with the United States to allow the exercise of general jurisdiction; the connections between the USB Defendants, SPV's claims, and its chosen New York forum were too tenuous to support the exercise of specific jurisdiction; and the court rejected SPV's two different theories of proximate cause. View "SPV OSUS Ltd. v. UBS AG" on Justia Law

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A general proximate cause test is the correct test for loss causation under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial in part of defendants' motion for summary judgment. In this case, the district court held that the evidence, if accepted by the jury, could satisfy the proximate cause loss causation test with respect to five of the six alleged stock price declines. The panel held that the district court applied the correct test in making that determination and did not reach any remaining issues. View "Mineworkers' Pension Scheme v. First Solar, Inc." on Justia Law

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A general proximate cause test is the correct test for loss causation under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial in part of defendants' motion for summary judgment. In this case, the district court held that the evidence, if accepted by the jury, could satisfy the proximate cause loss causation test with respect to five of the six alleged stock price declines. The panel held that the district court applied the correct test in making that determination and did not reach any remaining issues. View "Mineworkers' Pension Scheme v. First Solar, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Court of Chancery initially found that Wal-Mart stockholders who were attempting to prosecute derivative claims in Delaware could no longer do so because a federal court in Arkansas had reached a final judgment on the issue of demand futility first, and the stockholders were adequately represented in that action. But the derivative plaintiffs in Delaware asserted that applying issue preclusion in this context violated their Due Process rights. The Delaware Supreme Court surmised this dispute implicated complex questions regarding the relationship among competing derivative plaintiffs (and whether they may be said to be in “privity” with one another); whether failure to seek board-level company documents renders a derivative plaintiff’s representation inadequate; policies underlying issue preclusion; and Delaware courts’ obligation to respect the judgments of other jurisdictions. The Delaware Chancellor reiterated that, under the present state of the law, the subsequent plaintiffs’ Due Process rights were not violated. Nevertheless, the Chancellor suggested that the Delaware Supreme Court adopt a rule that a judgment in a derivative action could not bind a corporation or other stockholders until the suit has survived a Rule 23.1 motion to dismiss The Chancellor reasoned that such a rule would better protect derivative plaintiffs’ Due Process rights, even when they were adequately represented in the first action. The Delaware Supreme Court declined to adopt the Chancellor’s recommendation and instead, affirmed the Original Opinion granting Defendants’ motion to dismiss because, under the governing federal law, there was no Due Process violation. View "California State Teachers' Retirement System, et al. v. Alvarez, et al." on Justia Law

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The Court of Chancery initially found that Wal-Mart stockholders who were attempting to prosecute derivative claims in Delaware could no longer do so because a federal court in Arkansas had reached a final judgment on the issue of demand futility first, and the stockholders were adequately represented in that action. But the derivative plaintiffs in Delaware asserted that applying issue preclusion in this context violated their Due Process rights. The Delaware Supreme Court surmised this dispute implicated complex questions regarding the relationship among competing derivative plaintiffs (and whether they may be said to be in “privity” with one another); whether failure to seek board-level company documents renders a derivative plaintiff’s representation inadequate; policies underlying issue preclusion; and Delaware courts’ obligation to respect the judgments of other jurisdictions. The Delaware Chancellor reiterated that, under the present state of the law, the subsequent plaintiffs’ Due Process rights were not violated. Nevertheless, the Chancellor suggested that the Delaware Supreme Court adopt a rule that a judgment in a derivative action could not bind a corporation or other stockholders until the suit has survived a Rule 23.1 motion to dismiss The Chancellor reasoned that such a rule would better protect derivative plaintiffs’ Due Process rights, even when they were adequately represented in the first action. The Delaware Supreme Court declined to adopt the Chancellor’s recommendation and instead, affirmed the Original Opinion granting Defendants’ motion to dismiss because, under the governing federal law, there was no Due Process violation. View "California State Teachers' Retirement System, et al. v. Alvarez, et al." on Justia Law