- Los Angeles US-CA
Neal Marder, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Winston & Strawn and chairman of the firm’s class actions section, recently spoke on a Knowledge Congress webcast on securities law and the fraud-on-the-market doctrine. Plaintiffs in securities fraud class action lawsuits rely heavily on the theory of fraud on the market, which the United States Supreme Court affirmed in the late 1980’s. In the 1988 case Basic Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224, the court held that a plaintiff in a class action suit was entitled to the presumption that he or she had relied on material misstatements of fact in alleging fraud against a corporation. The statements need only have been made public, with the product in question traded in an “efficient” market. The plaintiff was not required to demonstrate that he or she had specifically been aware of and taken into consideration the alleged misstatements on an individual basis. This doctrine rests on the idea that, in an efficient market system, all publicly available information about a corporation and its products is part of the body of information consumers examine as part of their purchasing decisions. In late 2013, the Supreme Court signaled that it might be ready to reconsider the fraud-on-the-market theory as established for class action suits in Basic v. Levinson.
The attorneys at Winston & Strawn represent a number of companies in the food and beverage industry through the firm’s Food Litigation Task Force. Winston & Strawn has decades of experience in advising companies on best practices and representing them in high-profile litigation. Winston & Strawn’s Food Litigation Task Force handles several kinds of litigation. Companies facing claims of labeling and disclosure malfeasance or false advertising can turn to the firm for assistance with consumer fraud litigation. Businesses embroiled in claims related to food poisoning or contamination can bring on an experienced team that has directed defense strategies regionally and nationally in product liability litigation. If a company faces a campaign of misinformation that has a significant impact on its sales, it can turn to Winston & Strawn for help with disparagement, defamation, and business tort litigation. In addition, publicly traded companies under fire from investors can rely on the firm for securities litigation.
As a partner in Winston & Strawn and a regular participant in high-profile cases, attorney Neal Marder makes a point of taking time to share his knowledge and experience. In 2013, he appeared in two web-based presentations, during which he spoke about securities law and consumer class actions. In his first appearance, Neal Marder joined a Winston & Strawn associate and a representative from DLA Piper to give a presentation titled “False Advertising Consumer Class Actions: Latest Developments.” The program, during which the presenters broke down trends in false advertising class actions, included a review of the case Mazza v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and offered insight into methods useful to both plaintiffs’ and defense counsel. Just a few days later, Marder appeared on the Knowledge Congress webcast “Securities Law: Fraud-on-the-Market Theory Demystified,” where he worked with other panelists to analyze the fraud on the market legal theory. The discussion, which included analysis of cases and decisions, focused on ways in which the theory could be used to defend a client or win a claim during proceedings centered on securities fraud.