May 31, 2007
Stoneridge Investment Partners v. Scientific Atlanta
Posted by Gordon Smith

This case -- in which the US Supreme Court will decide whether financial advisors may be liable for "deceptive conduct" under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act -- has already been attracting a lot of internet buzz. Jay Brown has an interesting post on the (likely) pivotal position of Justice Alito in the outcome. Larry Ribstein agrees on Justice Alito's key role, but "find[s] it hard to believe that Alito would vote to (1) undercut the Central Bank precedent; particularly where (2) that would have the effect of opening a large and ambiguous trap door in securities law liability."

On the merits, this is a tough and interesting issue. The Circuits have split, but if I were a betting man, I would place my money on Ribstein (with the Fifth and Eighth Circuits), rather than Brown (with the Ninth Circuit). But we will watch developments with interest.

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