Morgan Lewis Title

2008 Year in Review: Selected Federal Securities Litigation Developments

February 2009

This is our inaugural annual review of selected decisions from the United States Courts of Appeal addressing private actions under the federal securities laws. We summarize below key decisions analyzing claims by private litigants under Sections 10(b), 14(a), and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Sections 11, 12, and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.

It goes without saying that 2008 was, in many ways, an historic year. The financial markets suffered major disruptions; venerable financial institutions closed and merged; investors in mutual funds, hedge funds, equities, and bonds lost money; a money market fund "broke the buck"; the auction rate market seized; billions of dollars seem to have disappeared in what is alleged to have been the largest and longest-running Ponzi scheme ever; and the federal government pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into the financial sector in an unprecedented effort to prevent further deterioration.

While it is never easy to predict the future, we expect that the unfolding economic crisis will continue to spawn new and complex theories and forms of securities litigation. As we prepare to protect and defend our clients in 2009, it is useful to look back at key decisions from 2008, in order not only to understand the current state of the law, but also to obtain guidance about trends for pending and future litigation. We therefore have prepared this desktop resource, summarizing key recent developments in private securities litigation at the appellate level.

Our review includes 66 opinions, organized by topic and, within each topic, by circuit in chronological order, allowing you to quickly identify the most recent authority on particular issues in any jurisdiction. Topics include scienter, causation, SLUSA, class certification, Stoneridge, and other matters that are often dispositive in private securities litigation.

For the full story, please view the PDF.