Justia Securities Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Family Law
West v. West
These three consolidated appeals (all springing from a divorce granted in 1994) presented thirty-eight issues including one of first impression. A judgment creditor served writs of execution on two corporations whose restricted stock was owned by the judgment debtor, who then sold his stock back to the corporations. The chancellor dismissed the writs, holding that the sale of stock rendered them moot. Upon review of the case, the Supreme Court held that statutory restrictions on the transfer of restricted shares of corporate stock apply to both voluntary and involuntary transfers of the shares; that after a judgment creditor serves a corporation with a writ of execution regarding one of its shareholders, repurchasing the shareholder’s shares will not excuse the corporation from responding to the writ of execution by filing the statutorily required sworn statement; and that the judgment creditor may (to the extent allowed by Mississippi statutes and other applicable law) execute on all benefits due the judgment debtor by the corporation, including the purchase price of the judgment debtor’s stock. Because the Court reversed the chancellor on three issues and remanded for a new trial, and because the chancellor's resolution of those issues may affect the outcome of others, the Court held that all issues not specifically resolved in this opinion could be presented by the parties to the chancellor for adjudication.View "West v. West" on Justia Law
Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Walsh, et al.
Plaintiffs sued the former spouse of Stephen Walsh, who was a defendant in related actions brought by plaintiffs, alleging that the property derived from Walsh's illegal securities activities went into the former spouse's possession under the parties' separation agreement and divorce decree. At issue, in certified questions to the court, was whether the former spouse had a legitimate claim to those funds, which would prevent plaintiffs from obtaining disgorgement from her. The court held that an innocent spouse who received possession of tainted property in good faith and gave fair consideration for it should prevail over the claims of the original owner or owners consistent with the state's strong public policy of ensuring finality in divorce proceedings.View "Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Walsh, et al." on Justia Law
Cohen v. Cohen
Plaintiff appealed from the district court's judgment dismissing her claims against her ex-husband and his brother for failure to state a claim and untimeliness. Plaintiff alleged that, in representing a certain investment as worthless and concealing the $5.5 million received on its account, defendants conspired in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1962(d), committed common law fraud, and breached fiduciary duties, and that her ex-husband was unjustly enriched. The court held that the district court's reasons for dismissing the fraud-based claims were erroneous and that the district court erred in ruling on the existing record that the RICO, common law fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty claims were time-barred. The court sustained the dismissal of the unjust enrichment claim as untimely. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part and vacated and remanded in part. View "Cohen v. Cohen" on Justia Law
McCann v. Hy-Vee, Inc.
Plaintiff and her husband divorced in 2002. He was an executive of defendant, a closely held corporation, a supermarket chain. The divorce decree transferred to wife some of his stock "until such time as [he] is first able to sell" them. He was to pay alimony until 2012 unless he sold the shares sooner and forwarded proceeds to wife. Wife claims that defendant's financial officer told her falsely that husband's shares could be sold only if he died, ceased to be employed by defendant, or ceased being employed in a position that entitled him to buy company stock. She claims she was induced to accept stock in lieu of a cash settlement and to agree that alimony payments would terminate as soon as husband was allowed to sell the stock. Less than two weeks after the earliest day on which husband could stop paying alimony, the company agreed to buy back the shares. The price was $908,000. Wife lost state court litigation and surrendered the shares in exchange $712,000. The district court dismissed, as untimely, wife's suit under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. 78j(b), and SEC Rule 10b-5. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, finding that any violation occurred with the 2002 misrepresentation, more than five years before suit was filed.View "McCann v. Hy-Vee, Inc." on Justia Law
Commodity Futures Trading Comm’n v. Walsh, et al.; SEC v. WG Trading Investors, L.P., et al.
This case arose out of the attempts of two federal agencies to disgorge funds from Janet Schaberg, the ex-wife of alleged Ponzi-scheme artist Stephen Walsh. Schaberg subsequently appealed from a memorandum decision and orders of the district court granting preliminary injunctions freezing Schaberg's assets. In response to certified questions, the New York Court of Appeals held that (a) proceeds of a fraud could constitute marital property, and (b) when part or all of the marital estate consisted of the proceeds of fraud, that fact did not, as a matter of law, preclude a determination that a spouse paid fair consideration according to the terms of New York's Debtor and Creditor Law section 272. The court held that because those rulings undermined the key legal assumptions supporting the preliminary injunctions, the court vacated those orders, without prejudice to further proceedings applying the legal principles pronounced by the New York Court of Appeals. View "Commodity Futures Trading Comm'n v. Walsh, et al.; SEC v. WG Trading Investors, L.P., et al." on Justia Law