A team of attorneys, including Neal Marder of Winston & Strawn, successfully defended China Automotive Systems against a two-part lawsuit challenging its accounting practices. The efforts of Neal Marder and his team led to the judge denying shareholders’ class certification in their lawsuit, signaling a setback for a slew of similar lawsuits against Chinese reverse-merger companies. US District Court Judge Katherine Forrest stated that the plaintiffs, three purchasers of China Automotive securities, did not effectively show that they were entitled to a class-action lawsuit.
The case stemmed from a complaint that China Automotive Systems released false and misleading accounting statements that were later revealed to be the product of accounting fraud. When the company announced that it would restate its finances, its stock price dropped and the plaintiffs who sued wanted their lawsuit to represent all American investors who bought stock in China Automotive Systems during that time period. China Automotive was one of many Chinese companies that entered the US stock market through a reverse merger during this time, and its victory in this lawsuit was widely lauded as one of the first of its kind.
An accomplished attorney with many years of experience in commercial litigation and class action lawsuits, Neal Marder currently works as a partner in the Los Angeles office of Winston & Strawn. In November 2011, Neal Marder and several associates at Winston & Strawn published an article titled “Out-of-Court Settlement Programs Can Avert a Class Action,” which discusses the potential value of settling in a timely fashion.
In the article, Marder argues that a quick settlement dissuades the court from completing a class certification that would enable plaintiffs to seek significant damages on behalf of a large group of individuals. Additionally, a quick settlement represents an equitable out-of-court solution and has the potential to counter negative publicity and restore goodwill with the company’s customers. Although settlements often require defendants to incur a large lump sum cost, they eliminate the need for extended litigation fees and prove themselves highly cost-effective in the long run.
On May 13th, legal professionals from across the country joined Law Seminars International (LSI) in Seattle for the two-day Comprehensive Conference on Class Actions and Other Aggregate Litigation. Themed “Practice Tips for Keeping Up With a Rapidly Changing Landscape,” the meeting covered class action trends across the United States, highlighted new Supreme Court cases, and discussed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Attorneys, business executives, government officials, and consultants alike benefited from analysis of some of 2012’s most important class action developments. The program, which featured talks by such leading attorneys as Charles B. Casper and Timothy G. Fielden, provided 13.25 Washington Continuing Legal Education credits.
Neal Marder, a partner at Winston & Strawn’s Los Angeles offices, spoke at LSI’s Seventh Annual Comprehensive Conference on Litigating Class Actions in 2011. During this presentation, he lectured on how increased regulation, specifically through the Dodd Frank Act, could lead to increased rates of class action lawsuits. Named one of the Best Lawyers in America for six consecutive years, Neal Marder regular speaks at national conferences and hosts webinars and other educational events related to class action litigation.