Justia New York Court of Appeals Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Securities Law
Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Barclays Bank PLC
In these appeals stemming from two residential mortgage-back securities (RMBS) transactions the Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Appellate Division reversing the judgment of Supreme Court and granting Defendants' motions to dismiss the complaints alleging breaches of representations and warranties made in underlying mortgage loans, holding that Plaintiff's causes of action accrued in California, and Plaintiff's actions were untimely pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. 202. Defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiff's actions, contending that pursuant to section 202 Plaintiff's causes of action accrued in California and were therefore untimely. Plaintiff conceded that it was a resident of California but argued that the court should apply a multi-factor analysis to determine where the cause of action accrued. Supreme Court denied Defendants' motions to dismiss, noting that the parties had chosen New York substantive law to govern their rights. The Appellate Division reversed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) this Court declines to apply the multi-factor test urged by Plaintiff and instead relies on the general rule that when an economic injury has occurred the place of injury is usually where the plaintiff residents; and (2) where Plaintiff is a resident of California, to satisfy section 202 Plaintiff's actions must be timely under California's statute of limitations. View "Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Barclays Bank PLC" on Justia Law
U.S. Bank National Ass’n v DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Appellate Division affirming Supreme Court’s dismissal of the complaint filed by the trustee (Trustee) of the ABSHE 2006 residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) trust, without prejudice to refiling, holding that N.Y. C.P.L.R. 205(a) applies to an RMBS trustee’s second action when its timely first action is dismissed for failure to comply with a contractual condition precedent. The Trustee first filed an action against Defendant, the sponsor and seller of the trust securitization, and the action was dismissed for failure to comply with a contractual condition precedent, without prejudice to refiling. The Trustee then filed this action against Defendant claiming violations of representations and warranties regarding the quality of the loans contained in the trust. On appeal, Defendant argued that the first action should have been dismissed with prejudice. The Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that the Trustee’s failure to comply with a contractual condition precedent did not foreclose refiling of its action for alleged breach of RMBS representations and warranties pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. 205(a). View "U.S. Bank National Ass’n v DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc." on Justia Law
U.S. Bank National Ass’n v. DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of Supreme Court dismissing this action filed by the trustee (Trustee) of three residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) alleging violations of representations and warranties regarding the quality of loans contained in the respective securitization trust instruments, holding that the Trustee’s untimely-filed complaint cannot relate back under N.Y. C.P.L.R. 203(f) to a certificate holder’s previously filed action. Defendant served as seller and sponsor of three RMBS securitization trusts, each governed by a separate pooling and servicing agreement. A certificate holder later filed a notice claiming violations of the representations and warranties for each of the trusts. After the limitations period elapsed, the Trustee filed this complaint. Supreme Court dismissed the action with prejudice. The Appellate Division affirmed, concluding that the complaint was time-barred and that the Trustee could not rely on the prior action because the certificate holder lacked standing to sues. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the certificate holder’s action was subject to dismissal, and there was no valid pre-existing action to which a claim in a subsequent amended pleading may relate back. View "U.S. Bank National Ass’n v. DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc." on Justia Law
People v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
Claims brought under the Martin Act, N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law 23-A, 352 et seq., are governed by the three-year statute of limitations in N.Y. C.P.L.R. 214(2) rather than the six-year limitations period in either N.Y. C.P.L.R. 213(1) or 213(8). The Attorney General commenced this action asserting that the issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities by Defendants violated the Martin Act. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the action was time-barred because the operative statute of limitations was the three-year period found in N.Y. C.P.L.R. 214(2), which covers actions to recover upon a liability, penalty or forfeiture created or imposed by statute. Supreme Court denied the motion to dismiss, concluding that the six-year limitations period in N.Y. C.P.L.R. 213 applied because Plaintiff sought to impose liability on Defendants based on the common-law tort of investor fraud. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that because the Martin Act expands liability for fraudulent practices beyond that recognized under the common law, section 214(2) controls. View "People v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC" on Justia Law
Posted in: Securities Law
Justinian Capital SPC v. WestLB AG
New York’s champerty law prohibits the purchase of notes, securities, or other instruments or claims with the intent and for the primary purpose of bringing a lawsuit. Appellant brought this action against Respondents alleging that Respondents’ fraud and malfeasance in managing two investment vehicles caused a significant decline in the value of notes purchased by a nonparty, from whom Plaintiff acquired the notes days before it commenced this action. Respondents raised the affirmative defense of champerty, arguing that Plaintiff’s acquisition of the Notes was champertous under Judiciary Law 489. Supreme Court dismissed the complaint, concluding that Plaintiff’s acquisition of the notes from the nonparty was champertous and that Plaintiff was not entitled to the protection of the champerty safe harbor of Judiciary Law 489(2). The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiff’s acquisition of the notes was champertous; and (2) Plaintiff was not entitled to the proaction of the safe harbor provision. View "Justinian Capital SPC v. WestLB AG" on Justia Law
Posted in: Securities Law
ACE Sec. Corp. v DB Structured Prods., Inc.
Two certificateholders in ACE Securities Corp., Home Equity Loan Trust sued DB Structured Products (DBSP) for failure to repurchase loans that purportedly did not conform to the representations and warranties of DBSP, which sponsored the transaction. The Trust later sought to substitute itself as plaintiff in place of the certificateholders. DBSP moved to dismiss the complaint as untimely, arguing that the Trust’s claims accrued as of March 28, 2006, more than six years before the Trust filed its complaint. DBSP further contended that the certificateholders did not validly commence this action and lacked standing to sue. Supreme Court denied DBSP’s motion to dismiss and held the Trust’s action to be timely.The Appellate Division reversed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the Trust’s cause of action against DBSP for breach of representations and warranties accrued at the point of contract execution on March 28, 2006; and (2) even assuming that the certificateholders possessed standing to sue, the two certificateholders did not validly commence this action because they failed to comply with the contractual condition precedent to suit. View "ACE Sec. Corp. v DB Structured Prods., Inc." on Justia Law
Quadrant Structured Prods. Co., Ltd. v. Vertin
Plaintiff sued several defendants in the Delaware Court of Chancery for alleged wrongdoing related to notes purchased by Plaintiff and issued by one of the defendants. Defendants moved to dismiss, claiming that Plaintiff’s claims were barred by a no-action clause contained in the indenture agreement governing Plaintiff’s notes. The Delaware Supreme Court remanded the case for the Court of Chancery for consideration of the issues under New York law. On remand, the Court of Chancery concluded that the majority of Plaintiff’s claims were not barred under the no-action clause and that dismissal and partial dismissal were warranted with respect to the remaining claims because only those claims arose under the indenture. In response to certified questions from the Delaware Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals concluded (1) a trust indenture’s no-action clause that specifically precludes enforcement of contractual claims arising under the indenture, but omits reference to “the Securities,” does not bar a securityholder’s independent common law or statutory claims; and (2) the Court of Chancery correctly found that the no-action clause in this case, which referred only to “this Indenture,” precluded enforcement only of contractual claims arising under the Indenture. View "Quadrant Structured Prods. Co., Ltd. v. Vertin" on Justia Law
Belzberg v. Verus Invs. Holdings Inc.
Petitioner and Ajmal Khan, principal of Verus Investment Holdings, purchased securities in a company to arbitrage a merger between that company and another company (the trade). Petitioner and Khal used Verus' account at Jefferies & Co. and Winton Capital Holding to complete the purchase. After the merger, Jefferies wired to Verus the original investment and profits attributable to the Winton funds. Verus wired the investment money to Winton and the profits to Doris Lindbergh, a friend of Petitioner. Tax authorities later informed Jefferies it owed withholding tax on the trade. Pursuant to an arbitration clause in an agreement between Jefferies and Verus, Jefferies commenced an arbitration against Verus for the unpaid taxes. Verus, in turn, asserted thirty-party arbitration claims against Petitioner, Lindbergh, and others for their share of the taxes. After a hearing, Supreme Court determined that nonsignatories Petitioner and Lindbergh could not be compelled to arbitrate. The Appellate Division reversed, concluding that Petitioner should be estopped from avoiding arbitration because he knowingly exploited and received direct benefits from the agreement between Jefferies and Verus. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Petitioner did not receive a direct benefit from the arbitration agreement and could not be compelled to arbitrate. View "Belzberg v. Verus Invs. Holdings Inc." on Justia Law
People v. Greenberg
The Attorney General (AG) sued two of the former officers of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), alleging that Defendants violated the Martin Act and committed common law fraud. Specifically, the AG claimed that Defendants helped cause AIG to enter into a sham transaction with General Reinsurance Corporation (GenRe) in which AIG purported to reinsure GenRe on certain insurance contracts. The AG withdrew his claims for damages and now sought only equitable relief. The Appellate Division denied Defendants' motion for summary judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the evidence of Defendants' knowledge of the fraudulent nature of the transaction was sufficient to raise a triable issue of fact; and (2) the AG was not barred as a matter of law from obtaining equitable relief. View "People v. Greenberg" on Justia Law
J.P. Morgan Sec. Inc. v. Vigilant Ins. Co.
In 2003, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) notified Bear Stearns & Co. and Bear Stearns Securities Corp. of its intention to charge Bear Stearns with violations of federal securities laws. Bear Stearns agreed to pay $160 million as a disgorgement and $90 million as a civil penalty. Bear Stearns then sought indemnification from its insurers (Insurers), requesting indemnity for the $160 million SEC disgorgement payment. Insurers denied coverage. Bear Stearns subsequently brought this breach of contract and declaratory judgment action against Insurers. Insurers unsuccessfully moved to dismiss the complaint. The Appellate Division reversed and dismissed the complaint, holding that, as a matter of public policy, Bear Stearns could not seek coverage under its policies for any of the SEC disgorgement payment. Bear Stearns appealed, arguing that, while it was reasonable to preclude an insured from obtaining indemnity for the disgorgement of its own illegal gains, Bear Stearns was not unjustly enriched by at least $140 million of the disgorgement payment, the sum attributable to the profits of its customers. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Insurers did not meet their burden of establishing, as a matter of law, that Bear Stearns was barred from pursuing insurance coverage under its policies. View "J.P. Morgan Sec. Inc. v. Vigilant Ins. Co." on Justia Law