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Posts Tagged ‘foreign class action’

The wait is finally over!  World Class Actions is finally out in print, and the book is available for order via the Oxford University Press website.  For those of you who have been holding your breath in anticipation of the book’s release… well, you’ve probably long since passed away from asphyxiation.  For those who have not heard about the book, however, here’s a short summary.

Class action and other group litigation procedures are increasingly being adopted in jurisdictions throughout the world, as more countries deal with the realities of increased globalization and access to information. As a result, attorneys and their clients face the ever-expanding prospect of a class or group action outside their home jurisdictions.

World Class Actions: A Guide to Group and Representative Actions around the Globe is a guide for attorneys and their clients on the procedures available for class, group, and representative actions throughout the world. It helps lawyers navigate and develop strategies for litigation and risk management in the course of doing business abroad, or even in doing business locally in a way that impacts interests abroad.

Part I of the book provides a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction survey of the class action, group, collective, derivative, and other representative action procedures available across the globe. Each chapter is written from a local perspective, by an attorney familiar with the laws, best practices, legal climate, and culture of the jurisdiction.

Part II provides guidance from the perspective of international attorneys practicing in foreign jurisdictions and the art of counseling and representing clients in international litigation. It also covers a variety of topics related to transnational, multi-jurisdictional, and class or collective actions that involve international issues and interests.

Each chapter offers practice tips and cultural insights helpful to an attorney or litigant facing a dispute in a particular part of the world. Many of the chapters introduce key books, treatises, articles, or other reference materials to foster further research. Its focus on international class and group litigation law from a practitioner’s perspective makes World Class Actions an essential guide for the lawyer or client.

Many thanks to the more than 50 authors from all over the world who contributed to the book.

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The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari to review the Second Circuit’s decision in the “foreign-cubed” securities class action Morrison v. National Australia Bank, Ltd., No. 07-0583-cv (2d Cir. 2008).  The Second Circuit’s decision is discussed at some length in this October 28, 2008 CAB Entry.  The Supreme Court docket number is 08-1191

The questions presented for review are as follows: 

I. Whether the antifraud provisions of the United States securities laws extend to transnational frauds where: (a) the foreign-based parent company conducted substantial business in the United States, its American Depository Receipts were traded on the New York Stock Exchange and its financial statements were filed with the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”); and (b) the claims arose from a massive accounting fraud perpetrated by American citizens at the parent company’s Florida-based subsidiary and were merely reported from overseas in the parent company’s financial statements. 

II. Whether this Court, which has never addressed the issue of whether subject matter jurisdiction may extend to claims involving transnational securities fraud, should set forth a policy to resolve the three-way conflict among the circuits (i.e., District of Columbia Circuit versus the Second, Fifth and Seventh Circuits versus the Third, Eighth and Ninth Circuits). 

III. Whether the Second Circuit should have adopted the SEC’s proposed standard for determining the proper exercise of subject matter jurisdiction in transnational securities fraud cases, as set forth in the SEC’s amicus brief submitted at the request of the Second Circuit, and whether the Second Circuit should have adopted the SEC’s finding that subject matter jurisdiction exists here due to the “material and substantial conduct in furtherance of” the securities fraud that occurred in the United States. 

 

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I recently came across Stanford Law School’s Global Class Actions Exchange, a fantastic resource for anyone interested in trends in class, group, mass and other collective actions outside the U.S.  The site offers a collection of papers presented by legal scholars from various countries on group action issues at a symposium held at Oxford University last December.  It also provides a collection of links to related class action statutes, proposed legislation and rules from various countries in South America, Europe, and Asia.  I have added a permanent link to this great online resource to the Lawyers’ Resources section on ClassActionBlawg.com.

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I came across this article today from Australian news outlet The Age regarding proposed class action reforms being considered in the Australian Federal Court.  Among the possible reforms reportedly being considered is a measure “restricting an appeal on an interlocutory issue until the entire case is heard.”

The quoted statement is admittedly lacking in detail, but the article appears to be saying that interlocutory appeals are now allowed Australian class actions but would be prohibited if the reforms are adopted.  That would be an interesting change of direction considering that the trend in American class action reform has been to go from a prohibition on interlocutory (meaning before a final verdict or judgment) appeals in class actions to allowing them under some circumstances.

Rule 23(f), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for example, was amended in 1998 to allow interlocutory appeal of class action certification decisions.   (See my early entry here).  Changes to various U.S. state rules and statutes, including Colorado, regarding interlocutory appeal of class certification decisions have come even more recently.   For a summary of various states’ class action reforms, see this handy guide from the American Tort Reform Association.

For previous news and commentary on ClassActionBlawg.com regarding class action reforms being considered by the EU and several of its member countries, as well as Canada, see herehere, and here.

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