SAN FRANCISCO — A shareholder of a provider of a cloud content management platform sued the company and certain of its officers and directors in California federal court on June 6, alleging that the defendants misrepresented the company’s business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws (Simo Duvnjak v. Box Inc., et al., No. 9-3173, N.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in denying a defendant’s motion for a mistrial in a criminal lawsuit stemming from his alleged operation of a Ponzi scheme based on juror misconduct because the district court’s actions taken after the alleged misconduct was discovered “were well within the Court’s discretion, and nothing further was required,” a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 7 in a nonprecedential opinion (United States v. Bernard M. Parker, No. 17-3442, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17201).
ATLANTA — A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in denying a request by investors to depose a convicted Ponzi scheme operator because the investors delayed seeking to depose the individual until the discovery deadline had expired, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 6 (Catherine Kerruish, et al. v. Essex Holdings Inc., et al., No. 18-14813, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17060).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal district court abused its discretion in awarding lead counsel in a securities class action against Wells Fargo & Co. 20 percent of a $480 million settlement for attorney fees because the amount sought was significantly higher than the amount it should have received, a shareholder argues in a June 5 appellant brief filed in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Gary Hefler, et al. v. Thomas Pekoc v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 19-15140, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK — Without providing detail, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 6 affirmed a federal district court’s dismissal of a shareholder class action against Xerox Corp. and certain of its current and former executive officers (Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System v. Xerox Corp., et al., No. 18-1165, 2nd Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA — Without providing further detail, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 4 vacated its December ruling in a securities class action lawsuit stemming from M&T Bank Corp.’s acquisition of another bank and granted the defendants’ petition for panel rehearing (David Jaroslawicz v. M&T Bank Corp., et al., No. 17-3695, 3rd Cir.).
CAMDEN, N.J. — In separate reply briefs filed May 13, an institutional investor and a pension trust each argue to a New Jersey federal court that they have the largest financial interest to serve as lead plaintiff in securities class actions against a reinsurer and former officers over allegations of misrepresentation in underwriting and risk management techniques and a reinsurance portfolio’s risk (Michael Wigglesworth v. Maiden Holdings Ltd., et al., No. 19-05296, D. N.J.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dismissal of a securities class action against technology company Oracle Corp. and certain of its current and former senior executives is not necessary because the lead plaintiff has sufficiently pleaded falsity and scienter in making its federal securities law claims, the lead plaintiff argues in a May 31 opposition brief filed in California federal court (In re Oracle Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 18-4844, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 3 declined to review an appeal in an insider trading criminal action where a hedge fund portfolio manager sought a determination whether the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling that a federal district court’s jury instruction in the action was inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Newman (Mathew Martoma v. United States of America, No. 18-972, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correctly applied the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, Ltd. in finding that shareholders’ federal securities law claims against Toshiba Corp. “involve a permissible domestic application of Section 10(b)” of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the U.S. solicitor general as amicus curiae argues in a May 20 brief filed with the Supreme Court (Toshiba Corp. v. Automotive Industries Pension Trust Fund, et al., No. 18-486, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A technology company and certain of its senior executives issued several misrepresentations in violation of federal securities laws in a registration statement it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its initial public offering (IPO) regarding its business and financial condition, a shareholder argues in a May 28 securities class action complaint filed in New York federal court (Luo Zhi v. Jumia Technologies AG, et al., No. 19-4952, S.D. N.Y.).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Supreme Court on May 28 ruled that a state appellate panel erred in determining that convicted securities fraudster’s South Carolina Rule of Criminal Procedure 29(a) motion seeking a reduced sentence was timely filed (The State v. Frederick Scott Pfeiffer, No. 2018-001153, S.C. Sup., 2019 S.C. LEXIS 52).
NEW YORK — A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in enjoining a clearing firm and introducing broker under the first-filed rule from bringing an action against the Securities and Exchange Commission in federal court in Utah, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 28 (United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. Alpine Securities Corp., No. 17-4179, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15691).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 28 ruled that a federal judge did not err in dismissing a securities fraudster’s complaint against three federal agencies because the agencies were subject to sovereign immunity (Kevin P. Brennan v. United States Department of Justice, et al., No. 18-2569, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15683).
NEW YORK — Without providing further detail, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 28 affirmed a federal judge’s granting of a receiver’s summary judgment motion in a securities fraud lawsuit stemming from the operation of a massive Ponzi scheme (John J. Carney v. Francisco Illarramendi, No. 18-1334, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15690).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 24 certified a question to the Texas Supreme Court on rehearing of an appeal of a receiver’s lawsuit stemming from the R. Allan Stanford Ponzi scheme against a U.S. investor, ruling that such action is necessary because Texas courts that have considered Texas Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (TUFTA) good faith “have not considered whether it includes a diligent investigation requirement or a futility exception” (Ralph S. Janvey v. GMAG LLC, et al., No. 17-11526, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15604).
BOSTON — The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 23 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a pharmaceutical company insured’s breach of contract and breach of fiduciary lawsuit, finding that the insurer has no duty to defend the insured against an underlying action brought by the Securities Exchange Commission (Biochemics, Inc., et al. v. Axis Reinsurance Company, et al., No. 17-2059, 1st Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15326).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 17 ruled that a federal district court’s explanation of a defendant’s sentencing for violating the terms of his earlier sentencing for conspiracy to falsify the books and records of a publicly traded company was neither “insufficient” nor “irrational,” affirming the lower court’s imposition of a 24-month prison term for his violation (United States v. John N. Milne, No. 18-1155, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14726).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A law firm representing the plaintiffs in a securities class action against Tesla Inc. and its chief executive officer, Elon Musk, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission May 15, asking a District of Columbia federal court to compel the SEC to provide documents related to its investigation of Musk and Tesla, which the law firm requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (Levi & Korinsky LLP v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 1:19-cv-01409, D. D.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 20 declined to review a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling that a federal district court abused its discretion in granting judicial notice on a series of documents before granting a motion to dismiss filed by a pharmaceutical company and certain of its senior executives in a securities class action lawsuit (Joseph P. Hagan, et al. v. Karim Khoja, No. 18-1010, U.S. Sup.).