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Securities case dropped; split on legal issue remains

UPDATED 2:12 p.m.  The Court’s amended calendar for oral argument in October is here.


The Supreme Court, apparently finding that little is left of a case that the Justices were to hear on opening day of the new Term next week, dismissed on Monday the case of Public Employees Retirement System v. IndyMac.   That action leaves intact a split among lower courts on the time limits for filing class-action lawsuits claiming false information in the offer or sale of securities.

Lawyers on all sides of the case had suggested, in new briefs last week, that the case could go forward in the Court because there remained claims against one of the underwriting firms sued in the case — Goldman Sachs & Co.  A proposed settlement deal for other claims, against the other underwriters, is now awaiting the reaction of a federal judge in New York City.

The Court’s only explanation for dismissing the case was that it had been “improvidently granted” — the language the Court uses when a case it was planning to decide has lost its legal significance, at least for purposes of the Justices’ review.  The one-sentence order did not explain the outcome.

The Court granted review of the case in March, and it was scheduled for oral argument at 11 a.m. next Monday.  Apparently in preparing for oral argument, the Court became aware of the settlement proposal (not mentioned in the briefing before the Justices) that is pending in a federal district court in New York City.

The settlement, not yet approved by the trial judge, would result in a payment of $340 million by several of the underwriting firms.  If the judge approved, the Court was told in the extra briefs filed last week, the claims against IndyMac MBS, Inc., would be dismissed voluntarily.  IndyMac has largely gone out of business, and probably would have been unable to pay anything anyway, the Court was told.

Recommended Citation: Lyle Denniston, Securities case dropped; split on legal issue remains, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 29, 2014, 1:45 PM),