Stone Pigman's Securities Litigation Practice Group defends and prosecutes securities cases throughout Louisiana and other parts of the Gulf South. Our clients have included public and private companies, investment banks, accounting firms, broker-dealers, hedge funds, investment advisors, and individual officers, directors, employees and investors. We also advise directors, boards and special committees in responding to shareholder demands and, should litigation result, we have experience handling the defense or prosecution of shareholder claims.
We have special experience in class action suits, multidistrict litigation and arbitration proceedings. The firm has represented clients in hostile tender offers, proxy contests, dissenting shareholders' rights proceedings, and disputes involving national and regional broker-dealers. We also have advised clients in disputes concerning private placements, and the sale of derivatives, equities, debt instruments, and direct investments such as limited partnerships. We have defended shareholder lawsuits arising out of merger and acquisition transactions and assisted clients in corporate governance disputes.
Other claims we have handled have involved prospectus and other disclosure obligations, broker-dealer duties to clients and counter-parties, fiduciary duties and insider trading. We have defended and prosecuted federal Rule 10b-5 actions, state law fraud and Blue Sky Law actions and fiduciary duty claims in multiple venues.
Our securities litigation group quickly and effectively responds to governmental enforcement actions and external investigations, such as those involving the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"). We provide guidance and leadership throughout the internal investigation process. We are well aware that an enforcement investigation presents unique challenges not faced in civil litigation. We therefore move quickly to both protect your business interests and minimize the impact of the investigation on your reputation and business prospects.
Representative matters handled by our securities litigation attorneys have included:
- Louisiana Pension Funds Securities Disputes. Defended Consulting Service Group, L.L.C. ("CSG") and a former member/investment advisor in a complex securities law dispute filed by three public service Louisiana pension funds. CSG formerly served as the investment consultant for the pension funds, which asserted breach of contract and unfair trade practices claims against CSG due to a collective $100 million loss arising from investments in a hedge fund. The plaintiffs sued numerous other defendants for the same loss and alleged that these defendants are liable for violations of the Louisiana Securities Act and negligent misrepresentation. Following extensive litigation over jurisdictional issues, the firm secured a summary judgment to dismiss the plaintiff's claim six weeks before a jury trial was set to commence.
- Defense of a major Hollywood actor/director/producer. Represented a major Hollywood actor/director/producer in successful defense of claims related to an oil-spill remediation technology corporation formed by him in the wake of the BP oil spill.
- Morgan Keegan Bond Fund Litigation. Represented an investment advising firm in a lawsuit in Louisiana arising out of the Morgan Keegan Bond Fund litigation. The litigation involved claims of securities law violations as well as state law claims of Blue Sky Law violations, fraud, deceptive trade practices, negligence and detrimental reliance.
- FINRA Arbitration. Represented a family-owned investment company in a securities claim in a FINRA arbitration in Memphis over the loss of millions of dollars invested in a bond fund. We also represented securities broker-dealers and individual brokers in arbitration before FINRA.
- Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions Investigation. Represented a regional brokerage firm's employee in an investigation by the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions.
- FINRA Investigation. Represented brokers located in Louisiana and Tennessee in FINRA investigations and enforcement actions.
- Shareholder Plaintiffs. Represented shareholder plaintiffs in claims against publicly-traded companies alleging violations of federal and state securities laws.
- Alleged Misrepresentations. Defended a company against claims by an individual investor who alleged she had been induced to invest by alleged misrepresentations about the company.
- Fiduciary Duty. Defended a certified financial planner against claims asserting negligence and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the handling of certain client accounts and his service as the trustee of a trust.
- Breach of Duties as Trustee. Represented a large national bank and its trust department in federal court litigation alleging breach of duties as trustee of a charitable remainder trust.