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Just Because Supreme Court’s Rulings in Amgen and Halliburton Give Defendants Less Tools to Beat Weak Class Certifications But Doesn’t Mean Plaintiffs Can Rest Easy

The US Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year in Amgen, Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds (and also in Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co.) decreases the tools that defendants of federal securities fraud lawsuits have to win against the class certification of weak claims. In Amgen, the Court found that plaintiffs don’t have to prove an alleged misrepresentation’s materiality to certify a class under the fraud-on-the-market theory, while in Halliburton, the Court held that plaintiffs don’t have to prove loss causation to garner class certification.

That said, although the Court’s rulings in recent years often have been considered “pro-plaintiff,” it actually has given securities defendants help in getting rid of the weaker securities fraud cases early on. For example, Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal mandate for plaintiffs to demonstrate that their interpretation of specific facts are plausible and beyond merely possible. Also, even with Amgen and Halliburton decreasing the chances of class certification being defeated on the grounds of loss causation or materiality, these issues can still be addressed in motions for partial summary judgment early on. Such a motion might even be submitted simultaneously as one opposing certification.

Our securities fraud law firm represents institutional and individual investors throughout the US. We believe that filing your own securities case increases your chances of recovering as much of your lost investment back. Over the years, Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP has helped thousands of investors recoup their losses.

Securities Litigation Defense Implications From The Supreme Court’s Amgen Opinion, Mondaq/Jones Day, April 17, 2013

Amgen, Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds (PDF)

Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co. (PDF)

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Investors Duped in $150M Investment Scam Offering US Citizenship Prospect To Recoup Funds, Says SEC, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 25, 2013

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