In re WRT Energy Securities Litigation
In a significant decision for client CIBC Oppenheimer Corp., the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the underwriter defendants' motion for sanctions against the plaintiffs in In re WRT Energy Securities Litigation. This important decision was featured in the New York Law Journal on October 5 in the article entitled "'Lack of Frankness' Faulted Over Loss of Discovery Materials" and in Securities Law360 on October 1 in the article entitled "Judge Hits WRT Shareholders With Sanctions." In his decision, Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV ruled that plaintiffs will be precluded from certain arguments at trial and that the Court will instruct the jury that the underwriter defendants are unable to present certain evidence because it "was lost as a result of actions or omissions by the plaintiffs." Further, the plaintiffs were ordered to pay for the underwriters' costs, including attorneys' fees, associated with the motion and for future expenses associated with expert analysis of newly identified evidence.