While securities class action filings maintained a historic three-year high through the end of 2019, largely driven by standard (Rule 10b-5, Section 11, and/or Section 12) cases, a decline in filings was observed in Q1 2020. Recent decisional law and critical trends in securities class actions, and the emergence of new “event-driven” filings, foreshadow an active year of key issues being fleshed out in courts around the country. Paramount among these issues are questions about whether certain types of cases can be filed in state courts and the role that Delaware corporations can play with forum selection clauses in trying to prevent that. Plaintiffs will push to assert scheme liability causes of action under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in an effort to broaden the universe of defendants they can hold accountable.
But COVID-19 might now be the largest issue on the securities-litigation landscape. While companies are focused on event-driven claims resulting from corporate mismanagement following negative events in connection with companies’ operations, the event to beat all this year will be the pandemic—a global medical emergency and a driver of the economy. Companies are on alert from the SEC to consider material weaknesses related to the pandemic when reporting, and significant fraud could be alleged out of business decisions being made in the pandemic’s wake. With COVID-19 comes significant financial uncertainty and market headwinds—circumstances where fraud tends to be more visible.
To better understand what’s ahead, a look back at recent filing and settlement trends is necessary, particularly for event-driven claims related to COVID-19, the cannabis industry, and cyber security.
In this LIVE Webcast, securities class action experts Daniel Barenbaum (Berman Tabacco) and Janeen McIntosh (NERA Economic Consulting) will provide the audience with an in-depth analysis of recent trends in class action cases and settlements, developments in securities class action litigation, and an outlook of what is coming.
Key topics include:
- Recent Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation
- Expectations for Securities Class Action Litigation for 2020
- Risks and Issues as a Result of Recent Supreme Court Decisions
- The Role of “Event-Driven” Claims
- The potential impact of COVID-19 on Securities Litigation
- Outlook and Expectations for 2020