June 18, 2013 · 0 Comments
By Jeffrey R. McCord of The Investor Advocate
Although big Supreme Court cases involving gay marriage, corporate free speech and affirmative action gain more media and public attention, a proliferation of less noticed Court decisions on seemingly arcane legal procedural rules are raising barriers to all American citizens seeking their day in court.
May 11, 2012 - SEC disagrees with Supreme Court’s anti-U.S. Investor Morrison decision and favors clearly defined private right of action against foreign wrongdoers, rather than abolition of U.S. investors’ legal rights, SEC Staff Study asserts.
March 1, 2012 --Inexplicably, the SEC is more than a month overdue in meeting its statutory responsibility to advise Congress whether or not to protect U.S. investors or leave in-place Morrison’s shield for foreign corporate wrongdoers against U.S. investor accountability.
June 15, 2011 -- In its far-reaching Janus decision, a divided Supreme Court on June 13 issued a 5 to 4 decision that virtually immunizes investment and corporate managers against civil fraud actions by investors and the SEC when they knowingly lie to the investing public.
April 14, 2011 -- On March 21 the Supreme Court surprised citizen critics by denying the appeal of the manufacturer of an over-the-counter nasal congestion remedy that caused some consumers to lose their sense of smell.
July 1, 2010 -- Justices Stevens and Ginsburg criticize Justice Scalia’s “personal view of statutory interpretation” in majority’s comments, arguing that securities laws focus on the “public interest” and “the interests of investors,” rather than merely “transactions on domestic exchanges.”
July 1, 2010 -- Largest pro-financial reform coalition asked Congress to ensure U.S. investors are protected by U.S. courts when they are defrauded by foreign companies. Coalition also asked Congress to restore investors’ right to hold accountable those who knowingly aid and abet securities fraud. Congress failed to do either in the “Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010” passed on June 30, leaving many foreign and U.S. corporate executives and advisors immunized against accountability for fraud.
June 16, 2010 -- The astute Fire Dog blogger below captured a key problem in holding securities fraud perpetrators accountable. Over the last 15 years, Congressional actions and Supreme Court decisions have restricted the ability of private plaintiffs to seek redress in court for investment fraud. These restrictions have not only reduced the compensation available to those who have been the victims of securities fraud, they have also weakened a powerful deterrent against misconduct in our financial markets.