On the Record

Summer 2017

The Summer 2017 newsletter focuses on several recent developments that will significantly impact institutional investors over the next several years. One involves the Delaware Supreme Courtʼs consideration of a new preclusion rule for shareholder derivative actions. The Delaware Supreme Court will soon issue a determination in In re Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Delaware Derivative Litigation as to whether a judgment in one shareholder derivative case binds the corporation and its shareholders in other shareholder derivative actions. The court will decide whether subsequent shareholder derivative actions will be precluded by a dismissal of a prior action only if the plaintiff in the first action either defeated a motion to dismiss based on demand futility or the board of directors declined to challenge demand futility. If adopted, this rule would remedy the problem that arose in the high-profile Wal-Mart case where Delaware plaintiffs investigated and developed derivative claims via a books and records request before filing a derivative complaint yet were subsequently barred from pursuing the company’s claims when an earlier filed suit was dismissed in a different court.

Another important development occurred earlier this summer when the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the law regarding the three-year repose period in cases alleging violations of the Securities Act of 1933. The Supreme Court concluded in California Public Employees’ Ret. Sys. v. ANZ Securities, Inc. that the commencement of a class action does not satisfy the statute of repose for a subsequent individual action brought by a putative class member who opts out of the class action. The decision resolves a circuit split on the issue and underscores that institutional investors should take steps early on in a securities class action to preserve their individual claims and a future right to opt out. Robbins Geller anticipates the Supreme Court’s decision will be extended to claims brought pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as well.

Robbins Geller attorneys continue to diligently advocate on behalf of investors and consumers around the world. In June, the Firm reached a $52 million settlement on the eve of trial on behalf of Good Technology Corp. shareholders for claims of breach of fiduciary duty relating to that company’s merger with BlackBerry Ltd. Robbins Geller also continues to work with public officials across the country to investigate the opioid pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors responsible for fraudulent marketing that fostered the country’s devastating opioid crisis. And recently, Robbins Geller’s Appellate Group was responsible for two significant decisions. One decision was a reversal by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of the dismissal of a consumer case against AARP and UnitedHealth alleging violations of California insurance laws. The Firm’s Appellate Group likewise obtained a reversal of the trial courtʼs dismissal of a securities class action brought on behalf of Quality Systems investors.

The Firm’s lawyers were recognized again this year by independent organizations such as the Daily Journal for their extraordinary advocacy in cases such as Household International, a decade-long securities class action that recovered more than $1.5 billion for investors, and the successful prosecution and resolution of a case on behalf of a class of former Trump University students who alleged they were defrauded in connection with their purchase of real estate classes at the now-defunct Trump University.

Robbins Geller is honored to be at the forefront of the fight to protect your rights.

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