Securities Cases to Watch at the High Court

Publication

This term, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider three cases related to securities litigation and enforcement. In a column for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, Jenna Williams analyzes the import of three cases treating a broad range of topics.

These include the statutory interpretation of the Dodd-Frank Act and its whistle blower protections, the jurisdictional reach of state courts in certain class actions, and separation of powers issues related to the appointments clause of the U.S. Constitution. Ms. Williams also discusses a fourth securities case that was accepted for review, but which has been stayed pending settlement. Nonetheless, it presents an important question the court is likely to review in the future.

From the article:

Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission (on appeal from the D.C. Circuit).

The short-term impact of this case for litigants will depend on how the court crafts a remedy if it finds a constitutional violation. If the court holds that the SEC judges have been “inferior Officers” all along, and have, for decades, been unconstitutionally presiding over proceedings, what happens next? Will all past and present administrative actions heard by SEC judges be dismissed and expunged because of the unconstitutionally appointed judge who presided over the case? That is unlikely. But if the court finds that the SEC’s practice violates the appointments clause, the appropriate remedy is not easy to determine.”