Category Archives United States Supreme Court

Being a fan of Les Miz, I was pleasantly surprised by Sacha Baron Cohen's performance of the great musical number "Master of the House" in the recent film adaptation.  It's probably my second favorite version after Lawrence Tierney's memorable rendition in the classic Seinfeld episode "The Jacket."  Now, the Supreme Court will soon decide which party, for purposes of removal will be considered the Master of the House, or rather the Complaint, for purposes of CAFA removal. In Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, the Court will hear its first case under the  Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA"), the 2005 statute which conferred original federal jurisdiction to any class action where minimal diversity existed at the amount-in-controversy exceeds $5 million.  At issue in Knowles is whether the named plaintiff, as a putative class representative, can stave off a defendant's right to remove under CAFA by filing any accompanying “stipulation” that…

The United States Supreme Court’s opinion in Amgen, Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, 2013 WL 691001 (U.S., Feb. 27, 2013), presents a fascinating theoretical dilemma, but one with limited application beyond securities law.  Justice Scalia’s assertion in his dissent that Justice Ginsberg’s majority opinion expands the consequences of the Basic decision from “regrettable” to “arguably disastrous” may be an overstatement beyond the context of securities law.  The issue in this case was whether the proponent of certifying a securities class action under § 10(b) of the SEC Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5 is required to prove the element of materiality at the class certification stage.  The majority held that it did not, because materiality, while an element of the fraud on the market theory applicable to securities claims, was a merits issue.  This is of course not surprising, as courts have long been warned away…

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