Overall levels of corporate and securities litigation declined during the third quarter of 2011 relative to recent quarters but 2011 annualized filings remain above historical levels, according to a recent report from the insurance information firm Advisen entitled "Securities Litigation Activity Dips, An Advisen Report: Q3 2011," which can be found here. My own survey of the third quarter 2011 securities litigation filing activity can be found here.
It is critically important to recognize that the Advisen report uses its own unique vocabulary to describe certain of the corporate and securities litigation categories.
The "securities litigation" and "securities suits" analyzed in the Advisen report include not only securities class action lawsuits, but a broad collection of other types of suits as well, including regulatory and enforcement actions, individual actions, derivative actions, collective actions filed outside the U.S. and allegations of breach of fiduciary duty. All of these various kinds of lawsuits -- whether or not involving alleged violations of the securities laws -- are referred to in the aggregate in the Advisen report as "securities suits."
One subset of the overall collection of "securities suits" is a category denominated as "securities fraud" lawsuits, which includes a combination of both regulatory and enforcement actions, on the one hand, and private securities lawsuits brought as individual actions, on the other hand. However, the category of "securities fraud" lawsuits does NOT include private securities class action lawsuits, which are in their own separate category ("SCAS").
Due to these unfamiliar usages and the confusing similarity of category names, considerable care is required in reading the Advisen report.
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Read other items of interest from the world of directors & officers liability, with occasional commentary, at the D&O Diary, a blog by Kevin LaCroix.
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