Trade press has identified Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. v. Manning as a “case to watch” in 2016. Manning sits at the intersection of securities law and federal jurisdiction. After a sudden $800 million stock drop, plaintiff shareholders of the injured company, Escala Group, sued Merrill Lynch and other financial defendants in New Jersey state court. The defendants claimed the suit could only be heard in federal court, and the Court took the case, to resolve important questions about federal jurisdiction and the meaning of the 1934 Securities Exchange Act. Brendan Maher is counsel of record for the Escala shareholders, and Peter Stris will argue the case. Jonathan Hacker of O’Melveny & Myers is lead counsel for the defendants.
Coverage linked above:
Securities Cases To Watch In 2016 (Law360, December 24, 2015)