Monday, June 23, 2014

SCOTUS Securities Law Decision Involves Charitable Fund That Supports Milwaukee Archdiocese

Today the U.S. Supreme Court decided Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., (S. Ct., June 23, 2014) largely rejecting attempts by a corporate defendant to make securities fraud class actions by investors more difficult to pursue. The corporation was unsuccessful in urging the court to overturn the so-called "fraud on the market" theory that creates a rebuttable presumption that investors relied on public misstatements. The 6-3 decision did give a small concession to defendants, allowing them to present certain rebuttal evidence as the class certification stage. The victory for plaintiffs has implications for the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Lead plaintiff in the case is a charitable fund that has been an important source of funds-- some $600,000 per year-- for the Archdiocese.  Prior to 2009, the Fund was known as the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Supporting Fund. (See prior posting.) The Milwaukee Archdiocese is in the midst of a bankruptcy reorganization. (See prior posting.)