The Madoff Ponzi scheme had far-reaching impact. How far? At least as far as Ireland and Luxembourg, each of which produced a number of plaintiffs in Trezziova v. Kohn (2d Cir. Sep. 17, 2013). In Trezziova, investors in a number of funds (the Thema International Fund PLC [], the Herald LUX Fund, and the Primeo Select Fund and Primeo Executive Funds) sued those funds (and their managing banks and investment firms) for placing money with the notorious Bernie Madoff.

While many of their countrymen were filing suit (and dealing with liquidators) in Ireland and Luxembourg, … Continue Reading

The Economist is reporting that the French president Francois Hollande’s government just presented a class action bill to the Council of Ministers on May 2. While the bill still must be debated and passed, it has already generated a fair amount of buzz in Europe about whether this means that the French Socialist government will be importing American-style class actions.

European businesses need not worry that much. The bill really is far more similar to England’s "group action" law (although it appears to operate on an opt-out principle rather than an opt-in one). As Commercial Risk Europe reports, … Continue Reading

Back over the summer, I was approached to blurb Paul Karlsgodt’s now-published World Class Actions: A Practitioner’s Guide to Group and Representative Actions around the Globe, which I did happily. Here’s the text of the blurb:

World Class Actions is a comprehensive and practical look at everything a class-action litigator needs to know about mass litigation in other countries. In an increasingly globalized world, this is a book no international lawyer should be without.

That was the two sentences that would fit on the back of a book cover, and I meant every word. This, however, is a (long-overdue) … Continue Reading

 This month, we have an abundance of "other strategists." At the beginning of the month, I attended the 5th Annual Conference on the Globalization of Class Actions at the Hague. The conference was extremely informative, even though it focused more on mass litigation than class actions specifically. Fellow blogger (and extremely nice guy in-person) Paul Karlsgodt has been putting up excellent, comprehensive notes from the various panels, so I’m not going to try to duplicate his efforts. Instead, I’m going to just leave you with one idea from each panel; usually the one that got me thinking the most.… Continue Reading

Last year, a jury in New York City decided one of the few securities class actions ever to go to trial. Lest anyone think that a jury verdict is ever the end of a piece of complex litigation, the Southern District of New York released a post-trial opinion last week. The opinion is worth reading for several reasons–one of the best being that it contains one of the few accounts of how a securities class trial actually gets conducted. But, in addition, it also provides a look into how international securities class actions will be treated going … Continue Reading

NERA Economic Consulting has released its annual study on Canadian securities class actions. It headlines the fact that there were a record number of active class actions (28). But some of the other trends it notes are as — if not more — interesting for class-action defense lawyers:

2010 was not substantially different from prior years.

In our 2009 update, we noted that Canadian securities class actions were continuing to mature. That year witnessed the certification of three class actions and the granting of leave to proceed under Part XXIII.1 of the Ontario Securities Act (OSA) in IMAX—rulings

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 In welcome news for content-starved class-action bloggers, NERA Economic Consulting (source of the perennially popular report on Italian class actions) has released its annual report on trends in securities class actions.

The report contains some of its usual data, always interesting but mostly just confirming existing trends. Among those:

  • Overall, securities class-action filings are up again.
  • The average settlement is $42 million; the median settlement is $11.1 million.
  • Securities plaintiffs’ lawyers earned $1.353 billion in aggregate fees.

The report also contains some other interesting facts with greater strategic implications. Among these:

  • The Ninth Circuit is no
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Many apologies for providing you all with just a linkdump for my Tuesday entry, but I’m lying in bed with a triple-digit fever.  Still, there are certainly other legal blogs that do a thoughtful job of covering class-action issues, and I’m lucky that several of them have great entries right now.

  • Justice Scalia has stayed a Louisiana state court ruling requiring tobacco companies to pay into a $241 million dollar "quit smoking" fund.  His reason: it’s "significantly possible" that the Court may overturn the decision on constitutional grounds.  Specifically: “the extent to which class treatment may constitutionally reduce the normal requirements
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Just think, you could be practicing here!

National Economic Research Associates, Inc. (NERA), an excellent source for statistics on litigation, has released a report on the recently-implemented class-action law in Italy: Italian Class Actions Eight Months In: The Driving Forces

The report describes (for those of us in the US) the law governing class actions in Italy. Class actions are opt-in, not opt-out like in the US. And they are limited to contractual claims, products-liability claims, anti-competitive claims, and "unfair commercial practices" claims. Classes are deemed "admissible" (roughly equivalent to certified) unless the claim is "manifestly unfounded," there is a conflict of interest, … Continue Reading

A little while ago, I reviewed Circle of Greed, the story of William Lerach’s rise and fall in the world of the class-action plaintiffs’ bar. The posts on the subject drew some criticism from some plaintiffs’ lawyers, but I still think it was worth it to see how at least one plaintiffs’ counsel treated his class actions.

But Circle of Greed is not the only book to have been published taking an “inside the plaintiffs” view of class-action practice. Another, Inside a Class Action: The Holocaust and the Swiss Banks, by Jane Schapiro, looks at the litigation … Continue Reading