Litigation: Knowledge is power–for defendants

The 2nd Circuit denies mortgage-backed securities class certification

Ten days ago, the 2nd Circuit stamped its approval on a district court’s denial of class certification in N.J. Carpenters Health Fund v. RALI Series 2006-Q01 Trust, a securities case involving mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The court upheld the determination that a class cannot exist if individual questions as to the investors’ knowledge of alleged misstatements dominate the claims common to all plaintiffs—a decision that was greeted with open arms by defendants in MBS class actions, and that may have an impact well beyond MBS litigation.

NJ Carpenters involved class certification in two related cases. Both asserted negligence-based securities claims. The plaintiffs alleged that defendants, issuers and underwriters of MBS, made material misstatements and omissions in offering documents, violating Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.

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Matthew Ingber

Matthew Ingber is a litigation partner at Mayer Brown.

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