The April 28, 2014, issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly features Will Haddad in an article about federal securities class action lawsuits. The article is titled “M&A suits prevalent, controversial.”
The article focuses on the ubiquity of class action lawsuits challenging mergers & acquisitions. In the article, Will addresses a pending Supreme Court case involving securities fraud lawsuits as follows:
And when it comes to another type of shareholder class actions — securities fraud cases — a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision could drastically alter the landscape. In Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund, the court has been asked to reconsider the long-recognized presumption that investors have relied on misstatements, whether they prove that they have or not, based on the “fraud on the market” theory that markets are efficient and any pertinent information, including misstatements, are immediately reflected in a company’s share price.
Securities litigator William A. Haddad of Beck, Reed, Riden in Boston said he believes the theory is flawed because, “as we’ve seen, there’s great irrationality in the market.” He said the Supreme Court justices hinted during oral arguments that they may at least modify, if not eliminate, the presumption.
“The presumption is a cornerstone of how class actions are brought,” Haddad said. “The bottom line is that if the fraud on the market presumption is pulled back, plaintiffs’ lawyers will have a hard time proving reliance up front. I think it’s fair to say it’s going to be disruptive to the whole plaintiffs’ bar. It’s going to be a sea change.”
The article is by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s reporter, Brandon Gee.
Will Haddad is a partner at Beck Reed Riden LLP. He handles civil litigation involving all kinds of commercial disputes, as well as client responses to government investigations and enforcement actions. He has appeared in state and federal courts, along with various government and industry forums, including the SEC and FINRA.
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