Thursday, February 03, 2005

Sparling v. Daou Systems, Inc. (9th Cir. - February 2, 2005)

For a look at the type of pre-lawsuit investigation and pleading that it currently takes -- after passage of the PSLRA -- to survive a motion to dismiss a securities class action complaint, take a gander at this case.

The complaint here is incredibly exhaustive and detailed, and even then, the district court -- Judge Lorenz -- repeatedly dismisses the whole shebang. The Ninth Circuit (via Judge Brunetti) eventually lets a fair amount of the action go forward, and I think gets the case right. Those -- and there are many out there -- who think that securities class actions are a bunch of hooey that simply extort money from law-abiding corporations should take a look at what it takes to get past even the pleading stage. I think the case is fairly insightful in that regard.

Also interesting is how long it took the Ninth Circuit to decide the case -- almost a full year, even though there's no dissent. So the degree of private and judicial scrutiny of these things is fairly expansive.

An even more off-topic note. The (very capable) attorney who argued the case on behalf of Lerach Coughlin -- Eric Issacson -- may want to update his information with the State Bar, since his address still refers to Milberg Weiss, even after the split. It's not a violation of Section 6002.1 (or the Bar's rules), but probably nonetheless a good practice to keep this stuff up to date. (Parenthetically, Eric's not alone in this regard. A quick glance reveals that virtually all of the names at Lerach Coughlin still have a bar address that refers to Milberg Weiss, including -- and I'll just pick on some of the big San Diego partners here -- Lerach, Stoia, Robbins, Hodges, Solomon, Bull, and Sweeney. Only the P's (Park and Pintar) seem to be proud of the new name. And, of course, Len Simon, who also let the Bar know about his new "lerachlaw" e-mail address. Way to go, Len.)