This week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund. The issue in the case is the ongoing viability of fraud-on-the market theory as an underlying assumption in shareholder class actions.


Court Weighs Securities Fraud Case Changes

Sam Hananel | Associated Press

The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed open to the possibility of making it harder for investors to join together to sue corporations for securities fraud – but maybe not as hard as companies that have to defend such lawsuits would like.

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At Halliburton Argument, Justices Show Little Appetite for Killing Basic

Alison Frankel | Reuters

After oral arguments Wednesday morning at the U.S. Supreme Court in Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund, I ran into a few securities class action plaintiffs lawyers in the court’s lobby, at the statue of Chief Justice John Marshall. They were looking jaunty indeed. The consensus in their little group was that the justices showed little inclination to toss out the 1988 precedent that has been the foundation of the megabillion-dollar securities class action industry. They regarded Wednesday’s argument as a hopeful portent that classwide securities fraud litigation is likely to survive the Supreme Court’s re-examination of Basic v. Levinson.

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Justices May Limit Securities Fraud Suits

Adam Liptakmarch | New York Times

The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed ready to impose new limits on securities fraud suits that would make it harder for investors to band together to pursue claims that they were misled when they bought or sold securities. But the justices did not seem inclined to issue a ruling that would put an end to most such suits.

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Click here to read a transcript of the oral arguments.