2014 Roundtable Series: Securities

January 01, 2014
In private securities litigation, all eyes are on the U.S. Supreme Court hearing set for March on Halliburton Co.’s appeal challenging the longstanding fraud-on-the-market doctrine, which underlies most securities litigation. Set out in 1988, the doctrine allows most securities cases to proceed as class actions so long as plaintiffs demonstrate that the market is efficient, which has usually been an easy hurdle to overcome. Now, in a case that began in 2002 and already has made one pass through the Court on other arguments, Halliburton is asking the Court to let it rebut the presumption of reliance on that efficiency by proving that misstatements did not affect its stock price. As for law enforcement, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White continues to make good on promises to be more effective and aggressive.