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The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Monday in CalPERS v. ANZ Securities.  Previously we provided a comprehensive overview of CalPERS’s brief.  In anticipation of oral arguments, below we discuss the arguments raised in ANZ’s brief and CalPERS’s reply.

The CalPERS litigation is notable because of the potential impact it will have on the Second Circuit’s IndyMac decision, which held that because the three-year limitations period in Section 13 of the Securities Act is a statute of repose, the time to initiate a claim is not tolled by the filing of a class action.  In the case now before the Supreme Court, CalPERS argues that the Second Circuit’s ruling in IndyMac, and in the instant case, conflicts with the Supreme Court’s holding in American Pipe that the filing of a class action tolls the limitations period for any unnamed member of the proposed class.

ANZ’s AND AMICI’S ARGUMENTS

In sum, in its brief ANZ (a) urges the Court to adopt the Second Circuit’s reasoning in IndyMac, which distinguishes the two limitations periods in Sections 13, delineating Section 13’s one-year limitations period as a statute of limitations and Section 13’s three-year period as a statute of repose; (b) argues that American Pipe establishes an equitable tolling rule that cannot be applied to a congressionally mandated repose period; (c) argues that CalPERS has intentionally distorted the issues to its own advantage by framing its argument to addresses case-specific matters on which the Court declined to grant certiorari; and (d) addresses CalPERS’s policy arguments (which we outlined in our prior post). Continue Reading Update: Briefs Filed in CalPERS v. ANZ Securities

On February 27, 2017, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (“CalPERS”) filed its brief with the Supreme Court, requesting that the Court reverse the decision of the Second Circuit and abrogate the Second Circuit’s ruling in Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit v. IndyMac MBC, Inc., as inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s holding in American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah.  Specifically, CalPERS argues that the timely filing of a valid class action satisfies or tolls the three-year filing period set by Section 13 of the Securities Act with respect to subsequently filed opt-out suits.

BACKGROUND

In 2008, a retirement fund filed a class action (the “Class Action”) in the Southern District of New York, asserting claims pursuant to Section 11 of the Securities Act related to debt offerings underwritten by the Respondents in the instant case.  The Class Action was filed on behalf of all persons and entities that purchased the securities in question.  In 2011, CalPERS brought individual suit asserting the same claims and relying on the same facts presented in the Class Action.

Subsequently, the District Court issued a notice of settlement to the class and granted each class member the right to opt-out of the settlement.  CalPERS did so.  The District Court then dismissed CalPERS’s claims as untimely pursuant to Section 13, because by 2011, when CalPERS filed its individual complaint, more than three years had passed since the securities in question were offered to the public.  The Second Circuit affirmed the District Court’s ruling, relying on its decision in IndyMac.

CalPERS ARGUMENTS

In the brief filed in part by Tom Goldstein, who will presumably argue the case for CalPERS, the pension fund argues that the Second Circuit’s ruling in IndyMac and in the instant case conflict with the Court’s holding in American Pipe, and thus must be overturned.   In American Pipe, the Supreme Court held that Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that the filing of a class action commences the action for all class members, named or unnamed, and tolls the limitations period for the cause of action if the class action fails.  CalPERS argues that pursuant to American Pipe, as a putative member of the Class Action, it cannot be time-barred by Section 13 from asserting the claims it filed in 2011.

CalPERS argues that the Court can rule consistent with American Pipe by either:  1) holding that CalPERS’s action was timely regardless of tolling because it was a member of the timely filed Class Action; or 2) holding that the time for CalPERS to file its complaint was tolled by the filing of the Class Action.  In addition to its arguments regarding the language of Section 13 and American Pipe, CalPERS relies on two other arguments concerning efficiency and due process. Continue Reading Briefs Filed in CalPERS v. ANZ Securities