Finger & Slanina, LLC is active in securities class action litigation, in which investors who have suffered a loss in the value of their stock as a result of violations of state or federal securities laws bring suit on behalf of all stockholders to recover damages.
Lawyers at FS&L have been involved in major securities fraud class actions and individual actions resulting in the recovery of billions of dollars for shareholders. For example, Mr. Liebesman played a central role in the prosecution of securities fraud claims involving Tyco International, Global Crossing, WorldCom, Enron, Royal Dutch Shell, Oxford Health Plans, Marsh & McLennan and others.
In many cases of alleged fraud in connection with the purchase or sale of a security (i.e., stock or bond), shareholders have the option of: (a) remaining passive and later sharing in a class-wide settlement should the case settle with some form of compensation or, (b) being active either as a lead plaintiff prosecuting a class action on behalf of all similarly situated shareholders or as an opt-out plaintiff prosecuting a case for its own benefit. Typical defendants in these cases include a corporation and its officers and directors. Occasionally, a company’s auditor is also named as a defendant.
Securities class actions are brought in federal courts under U.S. federal securities laws -- primarily the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. §§77a, et seq., the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. §§78a, et seq., and rules and regulations promulgated by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Notably, the U.S. Congress passed a law in 1995 called the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (the “PSLRA”) that governs the process in which securities class actions are prosecuted. Indeed, it was the PSLRA that brought the concept of having courts appoint stockholders with the largest financial interest (loss) to prosecute securities fraud class actions as the lead plaintiffs rather than appointing whichever stockholder that happen to file the first lawsuit. Under the PSLRA, stockholders wishing to serve as a lead plaintiff have sixty (60) days from the date of the first filed class action lawsuit to file a motion requesting such an appointment. Courts have allowed groups of usually two to five shareholders to serve together as lead plaintiffs.