Douglas Greene, one of the United States’ most well-known securities litigators – on either side of the bar – recently wrote a four-part treatise, titled Who is Winning the Securities Class Action War – Plaintiffs or Defendants?, in which he discussed the various ways in which the defense bar is losing the “securities class action war.” Greene’s thorough analysis is well-worth reading in full, but we will briefly summarize and comment on his piece here. Continue Reading Is the Defense Bar Losing the “Securities Class Action War?”
The deadline for parties to object to the settlement in the In re Credit Default Swaps Antitrust Litigation, Master Docket No. 13-MD-2476 (DLC) in the Southern District of New York recently passed on February 29, 2016. Unlike in most cases, where parties typically only object to settlements to the extent they allocate attorneys’ fees, several potential settlement class members to this litigation (“CDS Litigation”) have made specific, substantive objections to the potential distribution of settlement funds. In class plaintiffs’ (“Plaintiffs” or “Class Plaintiffs”) memo of law in support of approval of the settlement, Plaintiffs responded forcefully to these objections. Although Judge Denise Cote has yet to decide whether to approve the settlement, it is worth examining these new objections, which may suggest a trend in class-action settlement objections—at least in antitrust cases relating to securities transactions—moving forward. In addition, Plaintiffs’ heavy reliance on experts to create a settlement model may reflect another trend worth keeping an eye on.
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently issued a summary dismissal denying a number of objections to the Settlement Agreement reached in Hill v. State Street Corporation. The decision further sheds light on what constitutes the proper dissemination of notice to potential settlement claimants in complex class action litigation matters.
The objectors’ appeal arose out of the settlement of a securities class action brought on behalf of all those who purchased the common stock of State Street Corporation over a three-year period. After an agreement on the settlement was reached between the parties, the lead plaintiffs began distributing notice of the settlement – including the right to opt out or object – on August 18, 2014, by mailing notice packets to over 7,000 potential class members and the nominee owners who held potential members’ stock in street name.