WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 12 declined review of former Foundry Networks Inc. executive David Riley's appeal of his conviction for insider trading, deciding not to determine whether Riley was prejudiced by a federal district court's jury instruction as to personal benefit (David Riley v. United States of America, No. 15-1511, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Five putative class actions against Yahoo! Inc. related to a data breach the internet giant announced in September were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) in a Dec. 7 transfer order (In re: Yahoo! Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:16-md-02752, N.D. Calif.).
MILWAUKEE - Broker-dealer Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc. and its former senior vice president will pay more than $24.5 million and admit wrongdoing in connection with their role in a scheme to sell synthetic collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) to five Wisconsin school districts in violation of federal securities law, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled Dec. 6 (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc., et al., No. 11-0755, E.D. Wis.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Dec. 2 appointed an investor group as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the investor group has the largest financial stake in the litigation and meets all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff (David Lewis v. Lipocine Inc., et al. No. 16-4009, D. N.J. and Anthony Morassi, et al. v. Lipocine Inc., et al., No. 16-4067, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166532).
TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Dec. 2 appointed an investor group as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the investor group has the largest financial stake in the litigation and meets all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff (David Lewis v. Lipocine Inc., et al., No. 16-4009, D. N.J., and Anthony Morassi, et al. v. Lipocine Inc., et al., No. 16-4067, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166532).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal appellate court did not err in affirming a lower court's conviction of a man for his role in an insider trading scheme pursuant to U.S. Supreme Court precedent because even though the insider did not receive a financial benefit from providing the information, the trader and insider are relatives, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Dec. 6 (Bassam Yacoub Salman v. United States of America, No. 15-628, U.S. Sup.).
ATLANTA - Dismissal of claims in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against The Home Depot Inc. and certain of its current and former executive officers and directors for their alleged role in failing to implement the necessary internal controls to prevent a payment card data breach is proper because the shareholders have not shown that demand was futile, a federal judge in Georgia ruled Nov. 30 (In re The Home Depot Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 15-2999, N.D. Ga.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164841).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 2 granted petitions for writ of certiorari in three "church plan" Employee Retirement Income Security Act cases, consolidated them and allotted one hour for oral argument (Saint Peter's Healthcare System, et al. v. Laurence Kaplan, No. 16-86, Advocate Health Care Network, et al. v. Maria Stapleton, et al., No. 16-74, Dignity Health, et al. v. Starla Rollins, No. 16-258, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A group of institutional investors has met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action against a real estate investment trust and several of its former executive officers and directors, a federal magistrate judge in New York ruled Nov. 29 (Westchester Putnam Counties Heavy & Highway Laborers Local 60 Benefit Funds v. Brixmor Property Group Inc., et al., No. 16-2400, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164682).
PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on Nov. 29 denied a motion for an extension to file an amended complaint in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against several current and former officers and directors of a solar panel maker, ruling that investors have had enough time to gather the necessary information for them to plead demand futility (In re First Solar Derivative Litigation, No. 12-0769, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164272).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge in an opinion filed Nov. 18 denied a plaintiff's motion to remand a case alleging improper denial of claims under an Employee Retirement Income Security Act-qualified health plan to state court, saying that claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty are properly brought under ERISA (Eric A. Shore P.C. v. Independence Blue Cross, et al., No. 16-5224, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160022).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 18 withheld ruling on a plaintiffs' motion for conditional certification and preliminary approval of an $8.8 million Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action settlement, saying that he did not have enough information to conclude that the proposed settlement should be approved as being fair, reasonable and adequate to the members of the proposed class (Salvador Ortiz, et al. v. American Airlines Inc., et al., No. 4:16-cv-151, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160588).
SELMA, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on Nov. 18 denied a Prudential Insurance Co. insured's motion to remand to state court an action alleging that the insured failed to pay any policy benefits, saying that his state law claims are completely preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which authorizes a plan participant or beneficiary to bring a civil suit "to recover benefits due to him under the terms of his plan, to enforce his rights under the terms of the plan, or to clarify his rights to future benefits under the terms of the plan" (Marion McIntosh v. Prudential Insurance Co., No. 16-0523, S.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159869).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 21 granted defendants' motions to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that a pension fund, its trustees and its lawyers conspired with each other to have the fund retain and convert the contributions made on a plaintiff's behalf, saying that the plaintiff's state law conversion claim is preempted by Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 514 and that his conspiracy claim is untenable in light of controlling precedent (John P. Cooney v. Trustees of the Will County Carpenters Local 174 Pension Fund, et al., No. 13-cv-8819, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160603).
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 21 granted a motion to enforce the terms of an agreement to settle an Employee Retirement Income Security Act lawsuit and ordered defendant Midwest Underground Inc. to pay the plaintiff plumber union funds $82,707 (Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union No. 25 Welfare Fund, et al. v. Midwest Underground Inc., No. 4:15-cv-04144, C.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160599).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York federal judge in an opinion filed Nov. 18 granted partial summary judgment to a man whose long-term disability claims were denied, saying that the defendants failed to adequately explain all of the reasons for denying the claim in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Charles Standish v. Federal Express Corp. Long Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 6:15-cv-6226, W.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160093).
ST. LOUIS - In a Nov. 18 brief filed in Missouri federal court, the lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the operator of the Ashley Madison website oppose dismissal of their putative class action over a 2015 data breach that exposed their personal information, contending that they never assented to an arbitration clause within the site's terms and conditions (T&C) (In re Ashley Madison Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 4:15-cv-02669, E.D. Mo.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a cyber-attack detection and protection software developer and certain of its executive offices have failed to plead a material misrepresentation, scienter or scheme liability in making their claims that the defendants misrepresented the impact of an acquisition deal's impact on product integration, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 14 (Vijay Fadia v. FireEye Inc., et al., No. 14-5204, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157391).
NEW YORK - Without providing any detail, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 10 declined to grant a French company's motion for rehearing or rehearing en banc of the court's previous ruling affirming a jury's verdict against the company for violations of federal securities laws (In re Vivendi S.A. Securities Litigation, No. 15-180, 2nd Cir.).