Article: Supreme Court Decides Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning

Article - Media, Publications

Supreme Court Decides Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning

Chuck Webber, Jeffrey P. Justman, James G. Martignon, 05 May 2016

On May 16, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning, No. 14-1132, holding that that the “arising under” test for federal-question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 determines whether federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction under section 27 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) of lawsuits to enforce liabilities or duties created by that Act. (The Court did not address the portion of section 27 that gives federal courts exclusive jurisdiction of “violations of this chapter or the rules and regulations thereunder” with respect to criminal and regulatory enforcement actions.)

Greg Manning owned stock in Escala Group, Inc., a company traded on the NASDAQ. Between 2006 and 2007, Escala’s share price plummeted and Manning lost most of his investment. Manning blamed Merrill Lynch and other financial institutions for devaluing Escala during that period through “naked short sales” of its stock, under which one borrows stock from a broker and sells it to a buyer on the open market, but never delivers the shares back to the buyer. “Naked” short sales of stock may be designed to drive down a company’s stock price, and are accordingly regulated by Regulation SHO. Continue reading “Article: Supreme Court Decides Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning”

Article: SCOTUS Send Merrill Lynch Case to NJ State

Article - Media, Publications

SCOTUS Send Merrill Lynch Case to NJ State

ADAM KLASFELD, 06 May 2016

Merrill Lynch and other brokerage firms must face a state court case that says illegal naked short sales cost investors more than $800 million, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday. The shareholders brought their case four years ago in New Jersey over the Fortune 500 memorabilia company Spectrum Group International, then known as Escala Group. One of the investors, Greg Manning, said “naked short selling” sent his more than 2 million Escala shares into a nosedive. In typical short sales, investors speculate that the price of a stock will decline and purchase securities that they do not currently own in order to profit from the fall. Securities laws and regulations mandate that a short seller borrow the stock it sold and deliver it within four days of sale. Continue reading “Article: SCOTUS Send Merrill Lynch Case to NJ State”

Article: High Court To Hear Merrill Lynch Naked Short Selling Suit

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High Court To Hear Merrill Lynch Naked Short Selling Suit

Law360, 30 June 2015

In a short order, the high court granted the banks’ petition for a writ of certiorari, which was filed over a Third Circuit decision to remand the shareholder suit to state court. The justices also granted the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association leave to file an amicus brief in the matter.

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