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Archive for the ‘Reports and Surveys’ Category

Yesterday, NERA Economic Consulting issued a working paper entitled Trends in Canadian Securities Class Actions: 2009 Update.  The paper covers offers a variety of figures and statistics on cases being pursued, time to resolution, the values of settlements reached in 2009, the exposure represented by cases still pending, and the number of cases with parallel U.S. proceedings.  One key trend discussed in the report is the development of the law on “secondary market liability” provisions of provincial securities acts, especially the Ontario Securities Act.  For a primer on secondary market liability in Canada, see this article from Canadian firm McCarthy Tétrault entitled Ten Quick Tips on Minimizing Exposure to Secondary Market Civil Liability.

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As reported in this recent Financial Times article, the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse and Cornerstone Research have issued a Mid-Year Report on trends in securities class action filings.  Among the report’s key findings are that U.S. securities class actions against foreign companies are on the rise and that the financial industry continues to be the target of “unprecedented litigation activity,” trends that are not particularly surprising in the wake of the global financial crisis.  Here is a link to the full report available from the Clearinghouse website.

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Economist David Gulley, Ph.D., of Navigant Consulting, has authored an informative white paper entitled Recent Trends in Rule 23 Class Certification Expert Analysis.  Dr. Gulley’s article explores the expanding role of experts and increased scrutiny over expert opinion testimony in class certification proceedings in light of recent federal appellate decisions placing renewed emphasis on the rigorous analysis standard.  See the Second Circuit’s opinion in In re IPO Securities Litigation and the Third Circuit’s opinion in In re Hydrogen Peroxide Antitrust Litigation.  The paper is a great resource for both class action attorneys and experts who are asked to testify in class certification proceedings.

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Jaclyn Jaeger of Compliance Week authored a comprehensive article published yesterday highlighting trends in credit crisis-related securities class action lawsuits.  The article summarizes a June 15, 2009, NERA Consulting report entitled “An Update on the Credit Crisis Litigation: A Turn Towards Structured Products and Asset Management Firms.”  Here is a link to the article, which in turn includes a link to a .pdf version of the NERA report. 

The report finds that credit-crisis-related lawsuits exploded in 2008, increasing 172% over 2007.  So far in 2009, filings appear to be continuing at a similar pace from 2009.  The report also notes an increase in cases that name officers and directors as defendants and an increase in the percentage of cases filed by non-shareholder plaintiffs.  Asset management firms and securities issuers and underwriters continue to be the target of the largest number of suits with only a small percentage of cases filed against mortgage lenders, home builders, insurers, and other defendants. 

The filing statistics only tell part of the story, however.  The report also provides preliminary statistics on the outcomes of cases, finding that almost two thirds of recent resolutions involved either an outright dismissal, partial dismissal, or voluntary dismissal.  15% resulted in settlements, while 21% survived motions to dismiss.

For anyone interested in tracking the litigation arising from the credit crisis, both the article and the NERA Consulting report are a worthwhile read.

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PriceWaterhouseCoopers has published its 13th annual report on trends in private securities class actions.  The 2008 report offers a variety of statistics, trends, and insights into securities class action litigation from the past year. 

Some of the statistical highlights include an overall increase in filings but a decrease in the number and amount of settlements.  The report examines filings by circuit and examines trends in the nature of allegations being made, the types of corporations, industries, and corporate officers being targeted as defendants, and trends in institutional investors being named as lead plaintiff. 

Not surprisingly, the report offers specific analysis of the impact of the global economic crisis on the types of cases filed in 2008, and it includes special section on U.S. securities class actions against foreign companies and trends on the inclusion of foreign plaintiffs or class members in U.S. class actions. 

The report concludes with a section offering strategic advice for managing civil securities litigation following a criminal investigation into alleged corporate misconduct.

PWC’s website has a variety of other securities-related publications:

http://10b5.pwc.com/public/Default.aspx

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Hilary Hehman, Senior Research Analyst, Office of Court Research, Judicial Council of California, offered the following comment today, which deserves its own entry:

The Judicial Council of California just released the first in a series of reports detailing the findings of a study of class action litigation in California state courts. The first interim report has a section that discusses the CAFA effect in California. It is empirical legal research, but may still be of interest to you.

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/reference/caclassactlit.htm

The first report is titled Findings of the Study of California Class Action Litigation, 2000-2006.  It provides statistics and analysis of trends in class action litigation in California.  The report provides a wealth of information that promises to be helpful to policymakers and practitioners alike.  Well done, Hilary, and please keep us posted on future reports.

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I finally found a few moments the other day to organize the teetering stack of professional journals, magazines, and flyers that had been piling up in my inbox.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the most recent issue of the ABA Commercial & Business Litigation section’s Winter newsletter is a collection of articles focusing on class action issues.  The compelling list of titles include “What to Tell a Panicked Client about Class Actions,” “CAFA and its Impact on Class Action Litigation,” “The ‘Holistic’ Approach to Scienter under Tellabs,” “Alternative Privilege Log Techniques in an E-discovery World,” and Recent Rulings Limit Plaintiffs’ Choice of Forum Tactics.”

http://www.abanet.org/litigation/committees/commercial/newsletter.html

Speaking of class-action related materials, here are some good print publications focusing on class actions:

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