Questions About Securities Fraud Class
Question: What is a securities class action?
Answer: A securities class action is a lawsuit brought on behalf
of a group of investors who have suffered an economic loss in a
particular stock or security as a result of fraudulent stock
manipulation or other violations of federal or state securities
law. In federal practice, such cases are brought by one or
more investors in the stock, known as "Lead Plaintiffs," on behalf
of all others who have suffered financial losses as a result of
purchasing shares in a company during the period of time the fraud
or securities laws violations artificially inflated the value of
the stock (known as the "class period").
Question: What is a "class period" in a securities case and how
is the class period determined?
Answer: The class period typically is the time frame during
which it is believed that alleged fraud or other securities law
violations artificially inflated the price of the stock at issue in
the case. Only persons who purchased stock during this period
are included in the class action suit. The class period initially
is determined by plaintiffs' counsel after extensive research and
investigation. Sometimes the class period changes during the course
of litigation as additional information is uncovered during the
Question: What is a "Lead
Answer: A Lead Plaintiff is a representative person(s) or party
appointed by the court who stands in for and acts on behalf of the
other class members in the litigation. To appoint a Lead Plaintiff,
a court must determine that the proposed Lead Plaintiff's claims
are typical of those of the other class members, and that the
Lead Plaintiff will adequately represent the interests of the
class as a whole. Under certain circumstances, more than one class
member may serve as Lead Plaintiff. The Lead Plaintiff has control
over the course and direction of the litigation.
Question: How does the court determine
who serves as Lead Plaintiff?
Answer: The Private Securities Act of 1995 provides that the
most adequate Lead Plaintiff is the person or group of persons who,
in the determination of the court, has the largest financial
interest in the relief sought by the class. The "largest financial
interest" can be determined by courts in a variety of ways. Some
courts appoint the Lead Plaintiff based on the dollar amount of the
loss due to the securities law violations alleged, and some courts
base this decision on the percentage of net worth loss. Also,
depending on the circumstances, several entities and/or individuals
may be appointed to serve as "Co-Lead Plaintiffs."
Question: What is the "Lead Plaintiff
Answer: Applications for Lead Plaintiff must be filed within the
60-day period following the first filing of a class action
complaint in a federal securities fraud case. The application
deadline is strictly applied. If you wish to be a Lead Plaintiff in
a particular case, you must contact Berger & Montague at least
five business days in advance of this deadline.
Question: I missed the 60 day Lead
Plaintiff Deadline. What should I do now?
Answer: If you purchased your shares during the class period and
sustained losses you are automatically part of the class action.
The sixty-day deadline applies only to those seeking to be Lead
Question: What kind of recovery can I
Answer: Until the litigation is well under way, it is impossible
to determine what recovery might be possible, whether by settlement
or following judgment at trial. Securities cases not dismissed for
legal reasons at the outset of the litigation usually settle.
Typically, a settlement consists of a payment of cash, stock, or
combination of both to a common fund to be distributed to the class
in proportion to the amount each class member is determined to have
lost. The maximum possible recovery, which rarely is attained, is
the amount of loss attributable to the illegal conduct, less
attorneys' fee and costs.
Question: How long does a securities
class action usually take to settle or resolve?
Answer: The typical securities class action takes approximately
two to three years from when the initial complaint is filed until
the case concludes either with settlement funds distributed to
stockholders, or by judgment or dismissal. This, however, is only
an estimate; some cases have taken longer, especially when there
are appeals, while others have taken significantly less time to
Question: Can I sell my stock in the company being sued and
still be a class member?
Answer: Yes. It is not necessary for you to retain ownership of
the stock after the class period has expired to participate in the
Question: Do I need proof of my stock
ownership and what is the best proof?
Answer: While the best evidence of ownership are the
confirmation slips received when the stock was purchased, you may
also use your brokerage statements of account indicating when you
bought the stock and at what price. You should be sure to keep
these records in a safe place since you may need to submit them to
the claims administrator after the case has been resolved. You
would be notified by mail when to send this documentation.
Question: If two or more law firms
have filed a lawsuit related to the same underlying securities
violation, need I contact them all?
Answer: No. When more than one case has been filed on behalf of
a class, those cases eventually will be consolidated by the courts,
so you should not attempt to retain multiple law firms to represent
you for the same claim. You cannot improve the amount of any
recovery by retaining more than one law firm.
Question: How will Berger &
Montague keep me informed during the course of my securities class
Answer: You will be notified by mail or email of any significant
developments during the course of the litigation. Also, our Investor Protect Group, a
specially dedicated team within Berger & Montague's
Securities Fraud Group, can always be reached by email,
toll-free telephone or mail whenever you have a question. In
addition, we will update our website, www.bergermontague.com, with pertinent case
developments in each securities case as the situation warrants.
Question: How can I discuss a
potential class action or a pending case with a Berger &
Answer: To discuss your situation in complete confidence, simply
telephone Berger & Montague's Investor Protect Group toll-free
at (888) 891-2289 during regular business hours. You will be
connected with a Berger & Montague attorney who can help you.
Berger & Montague attorneys will discuss a pending case, or if
warranted, investigate a possible class action that has not yet
been brought, all without charge.
Question: I have information about a
pending securities class action case. What should I
Answer: If you believe that you have information about a pending
case, telephone Berger & Montague's Investor Protect Group
toll-free at (888) 891-2289 to speak in confidence with a Berger
& Montague attorney.
Question: I am "only" a small
investor. What should I do?
Answer: As a small investor your rights most likely already are
protected by those with more significant losses who already have
filed a securities class action. Please click here to have your
name and address added to our mailing list in order to get case
updates and notices of settlements.
Question: Why should Berger &
Montague represent me?
Answer: Berger & Montague is one of the largest and most
successful class action law firms in the United States. Since 1970,
our Securities Fraud Group has obtained successful results for our
clients. We have extensive experience representing plaintiffs in
class action securities litigation and we have played lead roles in
dozens of major cases over the past four decades, having recovered
billions of dollars for our investor clients and the classes they
No Fees Without Recovery
Berger & Montague often litigates securities fraud
cases on a contingent fee basis, so plaintiffs and the class
do not pay attorneys' fees or court costs unless there is a
Contact Us To Learn More Or To
Report A Possible Securities Fraud
We invite you to learn more about our
Securities Fraud Group. Berger & Montague welcomes
referrals from other law firms and attorneys. If you have
information about a fraud affecting institutional, individual or
governmental investors, or to schedule a confidential
discussion about a potential case, please fill out the contact
form on the right, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact a Securities
Fraud Group shareholder. We are available to evaluate
potential securities fraud cases without