Often, it is the federal courts, applying federal law, that wrestle with claims of cross-state securities fraud involving a nationally-listed stock. Here, plaintiffs of various states allege defendants, securities firms headquartered on the East Coast, violated California and New Jersey law through their involvement in massive naked short selling of Overstock shares.
The trial court sustained demurrers to plaintiffs’ New Jersey Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) claim without leave to amend and subsequently granted summary judgment on plaintiffs’ California market manipulation claims.
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Mighty Merrill Lynch bogs down in legal troubles
Securities Arbitration, 10 October 2002
Douglas and Deborah Millar are about to become $7.7 million richer. The Pennsylvania couple didn’t buy a state lottery ticket. Instead, they played another popular game of chance: Sue Your Broker.
In granting one of the largest awards on record six weeks ago, a private arbitration panel ruled that Merrill Lynch failed to advise the Millars on how to protect the value of a stake in former Internet high-flier FreeMarkets that in better times was worth $48 million. Merrill has appealed, but legal scholars say arbitration awards are rarely overturned.
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