On November 5, the case of Amgen v. Connecticut Retirement System was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case explored whether materiality must be proved at the class certification stage in a securities fraud case that relies on the fraud-on-the-market theory. At stake is whether the traditional rules for certifying class actions in the securities area will be toughened to make it more difficult for investors to bind together to form class actions.
On October 25, less than two weeks before arguing before the Court, Attorney David Frederick of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C., representing the Connecticut Retirement System, treated BLS students to a moot court argument in front of a panel of experts in the Law School's Moot Court Room. Professor Roberta Karmel; the Honorable Elizabeth Holtzman, co-chair of Herrick, Feinstein LLP’s Government Relations Practice; and Stanley Grossman ‘67, Senior Counsel of Pomerantz Grossman Hufford Dahlstrom & Gross served as judges on the panel, tossing challenging questions to the respondent and, following the presentation, offering Frederick a critique of the substantive points of his argument. After the argument, students had the opportunity to pose questions to Frederick about Supreme Court practice, Frederick’s argument style and the content of his presentation.
On the heels of the actual argument before the Court, Karmel, a former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission and who specializes in securities law, wrote an analysis of the Amgen case for a special edition of Westlaw Journal that focuses on pending Supreme Court decisions. In the article, titled “The Amgen Case: When Must Materiality Be Proven?”, Karmel analyzed the case precedent that will be used by the Court in deciding the Amgen case and considered at least four ways that the Court could decide the case, noting, however, that “the efficient market theory remains the predicate for the integrated disclosure regime of the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
A decision in the Amgen case is expected in the spring.
Read the full Westlaw Journal article.