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June 2, 2014

Assessing a “Middle-of-the-Road Decision” in Halliburton

In the coming days, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision in Halliburton Co v. Erica P. John Fund — a decision which Reuters last week reported, “will decide the future of securities fraud class actions, litigation that has generated more than $80 billion in settlements and untold billions more in legal fees.”

Law360‘s Ed Beeson writes that, “Many bets have the U.S. Supreme Court striking a middle-of-the-road decision” in Halliburton, but that, “attorneys and experts say even that course presents unknowns that could tie up district courts with knotty new questions or expose new classes of defendants to litigation.”

“Even if the high court were to use the Halliburton case to toss the principle that a company’s material misstatements can constitute a fraud on the market — the bedrock of securities class actions over the past quarter-century,” writes Besson, “Defense attorneys say it by no means spells the end of securities class actions.

“Aggrieved investors will have other avenues to pursue claims, from class actions alleging omissions of material information to individual actions against security issuers.”

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