Week Ahead in Securities: July 19, 2021 – Reuters
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July 14 – Here are some upcoming events of interest to the securities law community. Unless otherwise noted, all times are local.
Monday, July 19
9:00 a.m. – The trial of two Merrill Lynch traders accused of spoofing the commodities markets between 2008 and 2014 is scheduled to begin before U.S. District Judge John Lee in Chicago. John Pacilio and Edward Bases face wire fraud, conspiracy and commodities fraud charges, and Pacilio is charged with spoofing. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
Spoofing, a manipulative tactic involving placing and then cancelling fake trades meant to move prices, was outlawed by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Prosecutors have alleged that earlier instances of the practice amounted to fraud. The judge has set aside three weeks for the trial.
The case is U.S. v. Bases et al., U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 18-cr-00048. For the government: Avi Perry and Scott Armstrong of the Department of Justice. For Pacilio: Sean Buckley and David McGill of Kobre & Kim. For Bases: Alfred Pavlis and Andrew Calamari of Finn Dixon & Herling and and Julie B. Porter of Salvatore Prescott Porter & Porter.
Wednesday, July 21
10:00 a.m. – Investors in Ebang International Holdings will vie for lead plaintiff status before Judge Katherine Polk Failla in Manhattan in a lawsuit alleging the China-based blockchain technology company misled investors as to how it used funds raised in its 2020 initial public offering. Investors separately represented by Levi & Korsinsky, Block & Leviton, and Pomerantz are seeking the lead role.
The case is Zaker v. Ebang International Holdings Inc et al., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 21-cv-03060. For the various lead plaintiff candidates: Jeremy Lieberman of Pomerantz, Jeffrey Block of Block & Leviton and Shannon Hopkins of Levi & Korsinsky. Counsel has not appeared for Ebang.
Thursday, July 22
9:00 a.m. – Attorneys representing Dropbox Inc shareholders will urge U.S. District Judge Beth Freeman in San Jose to grant initial approval of a $1.375 million settlement to end their lawsuit alleging the online file storage company concealed a decline in the rate at which its users were converting to paid accounts ahead of its 2018 initial public offering. Attorneys from Levi & Korsinsky, The Rosen Law Firm and Glancy Prongay & Murray have said they will seek fees totalling around $344,000.
The case is In re Dropbox Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 19-cv-06348. For the investors: Adam Apton of Levi & Korsinsky. For Dropbox: Nina Locker of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
2:00 p.m. – Attorneys for Portola Pharmaceuticals and its underwriters will urge U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco to again dismiss a proposed shareholder class action alleging the company misstated the market value of a blood clotting drug in its 2019 securities offering. The judge previously dismissed the case with leave to amend, calling the first complaint too long and cautioning the shareholders against “continuing to throw spaghetti at the proverbial wall.”
The case is Hayden v. Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc et al., No. 20-cv-00367, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. For the company: Daniel Kramer of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. For the underwriters: Anna Erickson White of Morrison & Foerster. For the shareholders: Daniel Barenbaum and Nicole Lavallee of Berman Tabacco.
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