Stone Pigman's Securities Litigation Practice Group defends and prosecutes securities cases throughout Louisiana and other parts of the 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. The claims we have handled have involved disclosure obligations, broker-dealer duties to clients and counter-parties, fiduciary duties, and insider trading. We have also defended and prosecuted federal Rule 10b-5 actions, state law fraud and Blue Sky Law actions, and fiduciary duty claims in multiple venues.
We have special experience in class action suits, multidistrict litigation, and arbitration proceedings. The firm has represented clients in disputes involving national and regional broker-dealers. We have defended shareholder lawsuits arising out of merger and acquisition transactions and assisted clients in corporate governance disputes.
As to enforcement actions, our securities litigation group quickly and effectively responds to government investigations and enforcement proceedings by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and the Securities Division of the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions ("OFI"), as well as investigations by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"). We provide guidance and leadership throughout the investigative process. We also have lawyers well versed in internal investigations involving securities law and other legal issues, including potential criminal exposure.
We are currently assisting an accounting firm in an SEC investigation concerning the issuance of bonds by a Louisiana public agency. We are also representing financial institutions in the LIBOR price fixing litigation brought in Louisiana. In the recent past, we have represented clients – both investment advisors and investors – in litigation and a FINRA arbitration involving various types of investments, including in hedge funds.
We are well aware that an investigation or enforcement proceeding by the SEC, FINRA, OFI, and other entities 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.
Finally, due to our experience in advising clients on the business side of offering regulated securities, we have unique abilities in the advising of clients in both litigation and securities transactions. This experience can be valuable in assisting clients in avoiding problems with regulatory agencies as well as litigation.
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.