With the global financial crisis of 2008 in full swing, I predict that eDiscovery providers worldwide will see a windfall for years to come. The very nature of the financial industry will provide billions of pages of paper and exabytes of electronically stored information (ESI) stored all over the world for eDiscovery professionals to uncover, extract, process, analyze and prepare for pre-trial conferences, trials and the inevitable litany of appeals. With most law firms ill-equipped to deal with the new world of eDiscovery, they will have to rely on the new breed of eDiscovery consultants, technology vendors and electronic data discovery processing professionals to even get an initial understanding of the data involved in any of these matters.
Further, after all of the dust begins to settle, the global financial crisis of 2008 will fuel demand for the next generation of integrated eDiscovery/eCompliance/eGoverance technology to ensure more rigorous and meaningful oversight. This is, without a doubt, the paradigm shift that we have all been waiting for in the eDiscovery market.
Following are a couple of examples of the legal action that is already underway:
Fannie May and Freddie Mac Bailout
Plaintiffs’ firm Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins hasn’t wasted any time taking action in the wake of the Fannie and Freddie bailout.
Partners Samuel Rudman and David Rosenfeld filed a securities class action in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York yesterday on behalf of those who held publicly traded securities of Fannie Mae between November 16, 2007 and last Friday, before the federal government took over the company.
Defendants in the suit are Stephen Ashley, chairman of Fannie’s board; Daniel Mudd, Fannie’s president and chief executive officer; Stephen Swad, Fannie’s ex-chief financial officer; and Robert Levin, formerly the company’s executive vice president and chief business officer.
The complaint alleges that Fannie’s publicly disclosed financial results misrepresented the financial health of the company, and that the defendants either made false statements or failed to disclose the truth to investors. As a result, says the complaint, the defendants’ “fraudulent scheme” was successful in deceiving the public, artificially inflating the prices of publicly traded Fannie Mae stock, and causing class members to buy Fannie stock at those inflated prices.
Class Action Lawsuit Filed against the Primary Fund by Stull, Stull & Brody
NEW YORK, Sep 23, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Notice is hereby given that a class action amended complaint (the “Complaint”) was filed September 19, 2008 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by the law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody and its co-counsel, on behalf of plaintiff and a proposed class of purchasers of shares of The Reserve Fund’s Primary Fund (NASDAQ: RFIXX) (the “Fund”) during the period September 28, 2007 through September 16, 2008, inclusive (the “Class Period”).
The Complaint alleges that the Fund and the Fund’s underwriter, investment adviser, officers and trustees and the other related Defendants, violated Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 by making false and misleading statements and omissions concerning the lack of true diversification of the Fund’s assets, safety of principal, access to liquidity and exposure to at least face value debt of $785 million of the now defunct Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., that the Fund’s risk profile was not only “marginally higher” than cash, the high vulnerability of the money market fund to suddenly drop below $1 per share to as low as $.95 per share, and the fact that the net asset value of the money market fund (“ANAV”) was speculative and inflated. Thus, the Fund’s Registration Statement and Prospectus issued September 28, 2007, pursuant to which members of the proposed class purchased or acquired shares of the Fund during the Class Period, was materially false and misleading.
Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on his own behalf and on behalf of the Class and is represented by the law firm of Stull, Stull & Brody and its co-counsel Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C., firms with significant experience successfully prosecuting complex securities fraud class actions on behalf of defrauded investors.
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