Defendants win a lot of battles. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 was an enormous victory for the defense bar, imposing high pleading burdens on plaintiffs and establishing a safe harbor for forward-looking statements that, in Bill Lerach’s famous words, gives defendants “license to lie.” The rate of dismissal is markedly higher than the dismissal rate in other types of complex federal litigation. And cases that survive motions to dismiss typically settle for predictable amounts.
But despite their success in battle, defendants are losing the war. The root of the problem is the defense side’s lack of a centralized command, which creates a mismatch in expertise, experience, and efficiency.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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