Securities Lawyers Dodge a Bullet with Halliburton Ruling

AmLaw Litigation Daily
June 23, 2014

Lawrence A. Sucharow acknowledges the changes the Halliburton decision will bring to securities litigation, but remains optimistic

"This was the culmination of the Chamber of Commerce's effort to emasculate securities litigation in the U.S.," Sucharow said. The Chamber's arguments were rejected "resoundingly," he said. "That's a big victory for shareholders."

Sucharow acknowledged that Halliburton could usher in some changes to securities litigation, but he said that's not all good news for defendants. Sure, companies can knock out some cases earlier, Sucharow said. But that's not entirely a bad thing from his perspective, he said. "If I have a losing case, I'd rather know that earlier rather than later," he said.

And what if one of Sucharow's cases survives the early dismissal bid? "You can feel comfortable demanding more in a settlement because it's a risk you don't have to discount for," he said. "They've used up one their arguments, and it's no longer a threat."

Sucharow also predicted that the price impact defense won't be easy (or cheap) for companies to litigate. Judges may opt to hold mini-bench trials with dueling expert witnesses on stock pricing and market impacts, he said, and it could take a full year for courts to decide such debates. Those added delays and expenses present pros and cons for both sides, he added.