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Hickory Secs. LTD. v. Republic of Arg.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

August 14, 2012, Decided

11-3317-cv (Lead), 11-3321-cv (Con), 11-3323-cv (Con), 11-3324-cv (Con), 11-3329-cv (Con), 11-3331-cv (Con), 11-3354-cv (Con), 11-3373-cv (Con)

Opinion

 [*157]  SUMMARY ORDER

UPON DUE CONSIDERATION, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the judgments of the district court are AFFIRMED in part and VACATED in part and the case is REMANDED for further proceedings.

Defendant-appellant Republic of Argentina ("Argentina") appeals from eight judgments entered July 22, 2011 by the district court, granting aggregate class-wide relief to eight classes of plaintiff-appellee owners of beneficial interests in defaulted Argentine bonds.

We assume the  [**2] parties' familiarity with the underlying facts, the procedural history of the case, and the issues on appeal, which we reference only as necessary to explain our decision.

 [*158]  In 2004, plaintiff class representatives, claiming to own beneficial interests in eight series of defaulted Argentine bonds, filed eight putative class actions and moved for class certification. On August 5, 2005, the district court granted class certification in each action. The classes consisted of bondholders who purchased Argentine bonds prior to the filing of the class action for each respective bond series and who held such bonds continuously until entry of judgment by the district court. On January 9, 2009, following motions for summary judgment by the plaintiffs in each of the eight actions, the district court entered judgments granting aggregate class-wide relief to each of the plaintiff classes.

Argentina appealed, challenging class certification and the award of aggregate relief. See Seijas v. Republic of Argentina, 606 F.3d 53 (2d Cir. 2010) ("Seijas I"). It contended, inter alia, that the aggregate amounts were improperly based on estimates of the total amount each class might recover without accounting  [**3] for bondholders who might not have held bonds continuously during the class period (i.e., they purchased bonds in the secondary market after the start of the class periods in 2004) or who held bonds that had not yet matured or been accelerated. It argued, therefore, that aggregate relief was improper and individualized proof of damages was necessary. Plaintiffs asserted that aggregate damages were proper and could be accurately estimated based on, in part, expert analysis of data found in public filings on each respective bond series. They further argued that once such judgments were entered, class members could present proof of continuous ownership during the class period and apply for individual awards.

On May 27, 2010, we affirmed the district court's certification of the classes, but vacated its judgments granting aggregate class-wide relief. See Seijas I, 606 F.3d at 59. We held that the district court erred in basing the judgments on estimates of Argentina's liability that resulted in class-wide awards that were "likely inflated." Id. at 58-59. Specifically, we concluded that "[e]stimating gross damages for each of the classes as a whole, without using appropriate procedures to  [**4] ensure that the damages awards roughly reflect the aggregate amount owed to class members, enlarges plaintiffs' rights by allowing them to encumber property to which they have no colorable claim," thus violating the Rules Enabling Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2072(b). Seijas I, 606 F.3d at 58-59 (citing McLaughlin v. Am. Tobacco Co., 522 F.3d 215, 231 (2d Cir. 2008), abrogated on other grounds by Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indem. Co., 553 U.S. 639, 128 S. Ct. 2131, 170 L. Ed. 2d 1012 (2008)). We remanded so that the district court could consider alternative approaches to calculating damages "that more closely reflect the losses class members experienced." Seijas I, 606 F.3d at 59.

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493 Fed. Appx. 156 *; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 16928 **; 2012 WL 3291796

HICKORY SECURITIES LTD., CESAR RAUL CASTRO, SILVIA SEIJAS, HEATHER M. MUNTON, THOMAS L. PICO ESTRADA, EMILIO ROMANO, RUBEN WEISZMAN, ANIBAL CAMPO, MARIA COPATI, RUBEN CHORNY, ELIZABETH ANDREA AZZA, RODOLFO VOGELBAUM, CLAUDIA FLORENCIA VALLS, EDUARDO PURICELLI, Plaintiffs-Appellees, -v.- REPUBLIC OF ARGENTINA, Defendant-Appellant.

Notice: PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.

Prior History:  [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Griesa, J.).

Seijas v. Republic of Argentina, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32591 (S.D.N.Y., Mar. 29, 2011)

CORE TERMS

aggregate, bonds, district court, judgments, acceleration, calculation, damages, parties, class member, class-wide, secondary market, proceedings, notices, class action, class period, bondholders, tendered, volume, class certification, award damages, estimate

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, Clearly Erroneous Review, Remedies, Damages, General Overview, De Novo Review, Questions of Fact & Law, Special Proceedings, Class Actions, Prerequisites for Class Action, Adequacy of Representation, Class Attorneys