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Revisiting Absolute Immunity Protection for SRO Advertising & Marketing Activities

In Weissman v. Nat’l Ass’n of Sec. Dealers, Inc. the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that NASD and NASDAQ were not entitled to absolute immunity from civil damages claims challenging certain alleged for-profit, commercial activities. The plaintiff, who purportedly purchased shares of NASDAQ-listed WorldCom, Inc. stock, alleged violations of Florida securities and common law. He based his claims on the defendants’ alleged advertising and marketing campaigns, which, in relevant part, allegedly touted WorldCom to generate higher trading volume and revenues for NASDAQ.
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