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Securities fraud

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Power And Statistical Significance In Securities Fraud Litigation, Jill E. Fisch, Jonah B. Gelbach Jan 2021

Power And Statistical Significance In Securities Fraud Litigation, Jill E. Fisch, Jonah B. Gelbach

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Event studies, a half-century-old approach to measuring the effect of events on stock prices, are now ubiquitous in securities fraud litigation. In determining whether the event study demonstrates a price effect, expert witnesses typically base their conclusion on whether the results are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level, a threshold that is drawn from the academic literature. As a positive matter, this represents a disconnect with legal standards of proof. As a normative matter, it may reduce enforcement of fraud claims because litigation event studies typically involve quite low statistical power even for large-scale frauds.

This paper, written for ...


The New Insider Trading, Karen E. Woody Jul 2020

The New Insider Trading, Karen E. Woody

Scholarly Articles

Pursuant to the SEC’s Rule 10b-5, in order to obtain a conviction for insider trading based upon a tipper-tippee theory, the government must prove that the tipper received a personal benefit for the tip, and that the tippee knew about that benefit. The last five years of blockbuster insider trading cases have focused on this seemingly nebulous personal benefit test, and the Supreme Court has been unable to clear the muddy waters. As a result, the parameters of insider trading remain hard to pin down and often shift depending on the facts of the most recent case. Two terms ...


The Indian Securities Fraud Class Action: Is Class Arbitration The Answer?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Randall S. Thomas Jan 2020

The Indian Securities Fraud Class Action: Is Class Arbitration The Answer?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Randall S. Thomas

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In 2013, India enacted one of the most robust private enforcement regimes for securities fraud violations in the world. Unlike in most other countries, Indian shareholders can now initiate securities fraud lawsuits on their own, represent all other defrauded shareholders unless those shareholders affirmatively opt out, and collect money damages for the entire class. The only thing missing is a better financing mechanism: unlike the United States, Canada, and Australia, India does not permit contingency fees, so class action lawyers cannot front the costs of litigation in exchange for collecting a percentage of what they recover. On the other hand ...


The Indian Securities Fraud Class Action: Is Class Arbitration The Answer?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Randall S. Thomas Jan 2020

The Indian Securities Fraud Class Action: Is Class Arbitration The Answer?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Randall S. Thomas

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In 2013, India enacted one of the most robust private enforcement regimes for securities fraud violations in the world. Unlike in most other countries, Indian shareholders can now initiate securities fraud lawsuits on their own, represent all other defrauded shareholders unless those shareholders affirmatively opt out, and collect money damages for the entire class. The only thing missing is a better financing mechanism: unlike the United States, Canada, and Australia, India does not permit contingency fees, so class action lawyers cannot front the costs of litigation in exchange for collecting a percentage of what they recover. On the other hand ...


Watching Insider Trading Law Wobble: Obus, Newman, Salman, Two Martomas, And A Blaszczak, Donald C. Langevoort Nov 2019

Watching Insider Trading Law Wobble: Obus, Newman, Salman, Two Martomas, And A Blaszczak, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

“The crime of insider trading,” Judge Jed Rakoff has said, “is a straightforward concept that some courts have managed to complicate.” In the last eight years or so, insider trading law has wobbled visibly (in the Second Circuit in particular) in applying the standard for tipper-tippee liability originally set in the Supreme Court’s Dirks decision in 1983: from Obus (2012) to Newman (2014), with a detour to the Supreme Court in Salman (2016), and then two Martoma opinions (2017 and 2018). Most recently, the court of appeals offered what to many was a major surprise in its Blaszczak decision ...


Global Settlements: Promise And Peril, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2019

Global Settlements: Promise And Peril, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

In 2010, Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd. destabilized the world of securities litigation by denying those who purchased their securities outside the U.S. the ability to sue in the U.S. (as they had previously often done). Nature, however abhors a vacuum, and practitioners and other jurisdictions began to seek ways to regain access to U.S. courts. Several techniques have emerged: (1) expanding settlement classes so that they are broader than litigation classes and treating the location of the transaction as strictly a merits issue that defendants could waive; (2) adopting U.S. law as applicable to ...


Thinking Fast And Slow About The Concept Of Materiality, Mark J. Loewenstein Jan 2018

Thinking Fast And Slow About The Concept Of Materiality, Mark J. Loewenstein

Articles

Determining whether, for securities law purposes, a misrepresentation or omission is material raises interesting questions. The Court of Appeals in SEC v. Texas Gulf Sulphur Co. provided some guidance on materiality, and the U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in several times in the past 50 years. This article first discusses what Texas Gulf Sulphur contributed to the doctrine of materiality, then briefly considers other dimensions of the doctrine, and finally moves to its thesis: The doctrine of materiality should take into account important psychological insights and heuristics that may affect the way that a fact finder decides whether a ...


The Logic And Limits Of Event Studies In Securities Fraud Litigation, Jill E. Fisch, Jonah B. Gelbach, Jonathan Klick Jan 2018

The Logic And Limits Of Event Studies In Securities Fraud Litigation, Jill E. Fisch, Jonah B. Gelbach, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Event studies have become increasingly important in securities fraud litigation after the Supreme Court’s decision in Halliburton II. Litigants have used event study methodology, which empirically analyzes the relationship between the disclosure of corporate information and the issuer’s stock price, to provide evidence in the evaluation of key elements of federal securities fraud, including materiality, reliance, causation, and damages. As the use of event studies grows and they increasingly serve a gatekeeping function in determining whether litigation will proceed beyond a preliminary stage, it will be critical for courts to use them correctly.

This Article explores an array ...


Leidos And The Roberts Court's Improvident Securities Law Docket, Matthew C. Turk, Karen E. Woody Jan 2017

Leidos And The Roberts Court's Improvident Securities Law Docket, Matthew C. Turk, Karen E. Woody

Scholarly Articles

For its October 2017 term, the U.S. Supreme Court took up a noteworthy securities law case, Leidos, Inc. v. Indiana Public Retirement System. The legal question presented in Leidos was whether a failure to comply with a regulation issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Item 303 of Regulation S-K (Item 303), can be grounds for a securities fraud claim pursuant to Rule 10b-5 and the related Section 10(b) of the 1934 Securities Exchange Act. Leidos teed up a significant set of issues because Item 303 concerns one of the more controversial corporate disclosures mandated by the ...


The Reasonable Investor Of Federal Securities Law, Amanda Rose Jan 2017

The Reasonable Investor Of Federal Securities Law, Amanda Rose

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Federal securities law defines the materiality of corporate disclosures by reference to the views of a hypothetical reasonable investor. For decades the reasonable investor standard has been a flashpoint for debate with critics complaining of the uncertainty it generates and defenders warning of the under-inclusiveness of bright-line alternatives. This Article attempts to shed fresh light on the issue by considering how the reasonable investor differs from its common law antecedent, the reasonable person of tort law. The differences identified suggest that the reasonable investor standard is more costly than tort laws reasonable person standard - the uncertainty it generates is both ...


Brief Of Professors At Law And Business Schools As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Respondents, James D. Cox, J. Robert Brown Jr., Lyman Johnson, Lawrence W. Treece, Joan Macleod Heminway Jan 2017

Brief Of Professors At Law And Business Schools As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Respondents, James D. Cox, J. Robert Brown Jr., Lyman Johnson, Lawrence W. Treece, Joan Macleod Heminway

Faculty Scholarship

This Amicus Brief was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of nearly 50 law and business faculty in the United States and Canada who have a common interest in ensuring a proper interpretation of the statutory securities regulation framework put in place by the U.S. Congress. Specifically, all amici agree that Item 303 of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation S-K creates a duty to disclose for purposes of Rule 10b-5(b) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The Court’s affirmation of a duty to disclose would have little effect on existing practice ...


Carrot Or Stick? The Shift From Voluntary To Mandatory Disclosure Of Risk Factors, Karen K. Nelson, Adam C. Pritchard Jun 2016

Carrot Or Stick? The Shift From Voluntary To Mandatory Disclosure Of Risk Factors, Karen K. Nelson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

This study investigates risk factor disclosures, examining both the voluntary, incentive-based disclosure regime provided by the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act as well as the SEC's subsequent mandate of these disclosures. Firms subject to greater litigation risk disclose more risk factors, update the language more from year to year, and use more readable language than firms with lower litigation risk. These differences in the quality of disclosure are pronounced in the voluntary disclosure regime, but converge following the SEC mandate as low-risk firms improved the quality of their risk factor disclosures. Consistent with these ...


Beyond Dirks: Gratuitous Tipping And Insider Trading, Donna M. Nagy Jan 2016

Beyond Dirks: Gratuitous Tipping And Insider Trading, Donna M. Nagy

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Did an investment banker who gratuitously shared material nonpublic information with his brother, with no expectation of receiving anything in return, commit securities fraud? And is the investment banker's brother-in-law jointly liable for trading securities on the basis of what he knew to be gratuitous tips? The Supreme Court is poised to answer those questions in Salman v. United States, after steering clear of insider trading law for nearly two decades. It has been even longer still since the Court last addressed securities fraud liability relating to stock trading tips-it articulated a "personal benefit" test for joint tipper-tippee liability ...


The End Of Class Actions?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick Jan 2015

The End Of Class Actions?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In this Article, I give a status report on the life expectancy of class action litigation following the Supreme Court's decisions in Concepcion and American Express. These decisions permitted corporations to opt out of class action liability through the use of arbitration clauses, and many commentators, myself included, predicted that they would eventually lead us down a road where class actions against businesses would be all but eliminated. Enough time has now passed to make an assessment of whether these predictions are coming to fruition. I find that, although there is not yet solid evidence that businesses have flocked ...


"We're Cool" Statements After Omnicare: Securities Fraud Suits For Failures To Comply With The Law, James D. Cox Jan 2015

"We're Cool" Statements After Omnicare: Securities Fraud Suits For Failures To Comply With The Law, James D. Cox

Faculty Scholarship

As part of a symposium celebrating the multiple contributions of the late Alan Bromberg, this article examines implications flowing from the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Omnicare Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund. Because Omnicare lands so squarely on the Court’s earlier opaque opinion in Virginia Bankshares, Inc. v. Sandberg addressing the treatment of the materiality of opinion statements, Omnicare is the new currency in the realm that will have far-reaching implications. In Virginia Bankshares, the Supreme Court quickly concluded shareholders would attach significance to the board of directors’ statement that the cash-out merger ...


Halliburton Ii: A Loser's History, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2015

Halliburton Ii: A Loser's History, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

The Supreme Court was presented with an opportunity to bring fundamental reform to securities class actions last term in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P John Fund, Inc.. The Court ducked that opportunity, passing the buck to Congress to undo the mess that the Court had created a quarter century prior in Basic Inc. v. Levinson. Congress's history in dealing with securities class actions suggests that reform is unlikely to come from the legislature anytime soon. The Securities and Exchange Commission appears to be satisfied with the status quo as well. With these institutional actors resisting reform, corporations and their ...


Market Intermediation, Publicness, And Securities Class Actions, Hillary A. Sale, Robert B. Thompson Jan 2015

Market Intermediation, Publicness, And Securities Class Actions, Hillary A. Sale, Robert B. Thompson

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Securities class actions play a crucial, if contested, role in the policing of securities fraud and the protection of securities markets. The theoretical understanding of these private enforcement claims needs to evolve to encompass the broader set of goals that underlie the securities regulatory impulse and the publicness of those goals. Further, a clear grasp of the modern securities class action also requires an updated understanding of how the role of market intermediation in securities transactions has reshaped the realities of securities litigation in public companies and the evolution of the fraud cause of action in the context of open-market ...


Form Vs. Function In Rule 10b-5 Class Actions, Amanda M. Rose Jan 2015

Form Vs. Function In Rule 10b-5 Class Actions, Amanda M. Rose

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court’s widely anticipated decision last term in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. did little to change the fundamental landscape of securities fraud litigation in the United States. Rule 10b-5 class actions premised on the “fraud-on-the-market” presumption of reliance may still be brought, although it is now clear that defendants may present evidence of lack of price distortion to rebut that presumption at the class certification stage. Halliburton does, however, raise a variety of new questions that will keep plaintiffs’ lawyers and defense counsel fighting for years to come. Determining the answers to these questions ...


Shareholder Litigation Without Class Actions, David Webber Jan 2015

Shareholder Litigation Without Class Actions, David Webber

Faculty Scholarship

In this Article, I imagine a post-class action landscape for shareholder litigation. Assuming, for the sake of this exercise, an environment in which both securities-fraud and transactional class actions are hobbled by procedural or substantive reforms — most likely through the adoption of mandatory-arbitration provisions or fee-shifting provisions — I assess what shareholder litigation would disappear, what would remain, and what a post-class action landscape would look like. I argue that loss of the class action would remove a layer of legal insulation that prevents institutional investors from having to pursue positive value claims against companies. Currently, the class action effectively ratifies ...


The Responsibilities Of Lawyers For Their Clients Misstatements And Omissions To The Securities Market In Singapore, Wai Yee Wan Mar 2014

The Responsibilities Of Lawyers For Their Clients Misstatements And Omissions To The Securities Market In Singapore, Wai Yee Wan

Research Collection School Of Law

This article examines the extent to which lawyers advising on the disclosure documents of their clients issued to the securities markets should be responsible for their clients’ disclosure failures. It identifies the following problems with the current framework. First, there is a lack of objective due diligence standards which lawyers are expected to meet when they are advising on public disclosure documents. Second, except for takeovers, lawyers are not subject to public enforcement actions even if they have not acted with due care and diligence in ensuring that their clients comply with their disclosure obligations. Third, private enforcement actions against ...


Better Bounty Hunting, Amanda Rose Jan 2014

Better Bounty Hunting, Amanda Rose

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The SEC’s new whistleblower bounty program has provoked significant controversy. That controversy has centered on the failure of the implementing rules to make internal reporting through corporate compliance departments a prerequisite to recovery. This Article approaches the new program with a broader lens, examining its impact on the longstanding debate over fraud-on-the-market (FOTM) class actions. The Article demonstrates how the bounty program, if successful, will replicate the fraud deterrence benefits of FOTM class actions while simultaneously increasing the costs of such suits — rendering them a pointless yet expensive redundancy. If instead the SEC proves incapable of effectively administering the ...


Judgment Day For Fraud-On-The-Market?: Reflections On Amgen And The Second Coming Of Halliburton, Donald C. Langevoort Nov 2013

Judgment Day For Fraud-On-The-Market?: Reflections On Amgen And The Second Coming Of Halliburton, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In November 2013, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the Halliburton litigation to reconsider, and perhaps overrule, its seminal decision in Basic Inc. v. Levinson. Basic legitimated the fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance, making securities class actions for claims of false corporate publicity viable, and such cases have become the central mechanisms for private securities fraud litigation. This move came after last Term’s Amgen decision, where four justices signaled their doubts about Basic. This essay looks at the connection between Amgen and the continuing viability of fraud-on-the-market litigation. How Halliburton comes out will likely depend on how the Court views ...


The Cost Of Securities Fraud, Urska Velikonja Jan 2013

The Cost Of Securities Fraud, Urska Velikonja

Faculty Scholarship

Under the dominant account, securities fraud by public firms harms the firms’ shareholders and, more generally, capital markets. Recent financial legislation—the JOBS Act and the Dodd-Frank Act—as well as the influential 2011 D.C. Circuit decision in Business Roundtable v. SEC reinforce that same worldview. This Article contends that the account is wrong. Misreporting distorts economic decision-making by all firms, both those committing fraud and not. False information, coupled with efforts to hide fraud and avoid detection, impairs risk assessment by providers of human and financial capital, suppliers and customers, and thus misdirects capital and labor to lower-value ...


“Fine Distinctions” In The Contemporary Law Of Insider Trading, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2013

“Fine Distinctions” In The Contemporary Law Of Insider Trading, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

William Cary’s opinion for the SEC in In re Cady, Roberts & Co. built the foundation on which the modern law of insider trading rests. This paper—a contribution to Columbia Law School’s recent celebration of Cary’s Cady Roberts opinion, explores some of these—particularly the emergence of a doctrine of “reckless” insider trading. Historically, the crucial question is this: how or why did the insider trading prohibition survive the retrenchment that happened to so many other elements of Rule 10b-5? It argues that the Supreme Court embraced the continuing existence of the “abstain or disclose” rule, and ...


Understanding Causation In Private Securities Lawsuits: Building On Amgen, James D. Cox Jan 2013

Understanding Causation In Private Securities Lawsuits: Building On Amgen, James D. Cox

Faculty Scholarship

With Amgen, the Supreme Court’s majority once again holds that inquiry into the alleged market impact of a misrepresentation is not required to invoke fraud on the market approach to causation so that the class can be certified. Rather than just leaving matters where they have been since the Supreme Court’s muddled encounter with causation in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, the Supreme Court’s most recent decision appears to relax some earlier-held tenets with respect to markets believed sufficiently efficient for fraud on the market to be invoked. This Article not only identifies the central flaw of Basic ...


Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. V. Siracusano: Nasal Spray Decision Throws Corporations Off The Scent Of "Materiality" Definition, Marcie Brecher Jan 2012

Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. V. Siracusano: Nasal Spray Decision Throws Corporations Off The Scent Of "Materiality" Definition, Marcie Brecher

Proxy

No abstract provided.


Chevron, Greenwashing, And The Myth Of 'Green Oil Companies', Miriam A. Cherry, Judd F. Sneirson Jan 2012

Chevron, Greenwashing, And The Myth Of 'Green Oil Companies', Miriam A. Cherry, Judd F. Sneirson

All Faculty Scholarship

As green business practices grow in popularity, so does the temptation to “greenwash” one’s business to appear more environmentally and socially responsible than it actually is. We examined this phenomenon in an earlier paper, using BP and the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe as a case study and developing a framework for policing dubious claims of corporate social responsibility. This Article revisits these issues focusing on Chevron, an oil company that claims in its advertisements to care deeply about the environment and the communities in which it operates, even as it faces an $18 billion judgment for polluting the Ecuadorean Amazon ...


The Plight Of The Individual Investor In Securities Class Actions, David Webber Jan 2012

The Plight Of The Individual Investor In Securities Class Actions, David Webber

Faculty Scholarship

Individual investors victimized by securities fraud have no voice in directing class actions brought on their behalf once institutional investors obtain lead plaintiff appointments. The same holds for state-level transactional class actions claiming breaches of fiduciary duty by boards of directors in connection with mergers and acquisitions. In theory, the interests of institutional and individual investors align, nullifying the need for a separate voice for individuals; one rationale for the lead plaintiff modifications of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 was that individuals would benefit from the sophistication of institutional investor lead plaintiffs. But in practice, individual investors ...


What Were They Thinking? Insider Trading And The Scienter Requirement, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2012

What Were They Thinking? Insider Trading And The Scienter Requirement, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

On its face, the connection between insider trading regulation and the state of mind of the trader or tipper seems intuitive. Insider trading is a form of market abuse: taking advantage of a secret to which one is not entitled, generally in breach of some kind of fiduciary-like duty. This chapter examines both the legal doctrine and the psychology associated with this pursuit. There is much conceptual confusion in how we define unlawful insider trading—the quixotic effort to build a coherent theory of insider trading by reference to the law of fraud, rather than a more expansive market abuse ...


Remedies For Foreign Investors Under U.S. Federal Securities Law, Hannah Buxbaum Jan 2012

Remedies For Foreign Investors Under U.S. Federal Securities Law, Hannah Buxbaum

Articles by Maurer Faculty

In its 2010 decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, the Supreme Court held that the general anti-fraud provision of U.S. securities law applies only to (a) transactions in securities listed on domestic exchanges and (b) domestic transactions in other securities. That decision forecloses the use of the “foreign-cubed” class action, and in general precludes the vast majority of claims that might otherwise have been brought in U.S. court by foreign investors. This article assesses the post-Morrison landscape, addressing the question of remedies in U.S. courts for investors defrauded in foreign transactions. It begins by reviewing the ...