New securities class action lawsuit filing levels were comparable to historical norms during 2012, but the number of settlements and of dismissals were both down for the year, according to the analysis and projections of NERA Economic Consulting in their December 11, 2012 publication "Flash Update: 2012 Trends in Securities Class Actions" (here).
According to the report, there were 195 new securities class action lawsuits filed this year through November 30, 2012. NERA projects that there will be around 213 total lawsuit filings by year end. The projected number is slightly below the 2007-2011 average of 221. (It should be noted that NERA counts multiple actions in multiple jurisdictions against the same defendants as different filings, unless and until consolidated, so NERA's initial lawsuit filing counts will be higher than those published by some other sources. NERA also notes in the report's footnotes that it "counts" a case if it involves securities, even where the complaint alleges violations of the common law or breach of fiduciary duty. This criterion may also result in counts differing from other published sources, some of which "count" cases only if they allege violations of the federal securities laws.)
The report notes that the 2012 filing levels are more or less consistent with recent years, even though the credit crisis-related lawsuit filings have faded away. The report notes that in 2005-2006, just prior to the credit crisis, annual filing levels had been as low only about 160. The report notes that the number of filings has not declined to these prior lower levels, as "the plaintiffs' bar has found new causes of action, with merger objection cases picking up much of the slack."
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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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