Panel Discussion On Lead Plaintiff/Lead Counsel Selection

The May 2003 edition of the Fordham Law Review contains a transcript of an interesting, if slightly dated, panel discussion on the selection of lead plaintiff/lead counsel in securities class actions. See 71 Fordham L. Rev. 2363 (panel discussion took place on Feb. 5, 2002). The panel participants included Judge Edward Becker (3rd Cir.), Judge Milton Shadur (N.D. Ill.), Jill Fisch (Professor – Fordham), Gregory Joseph (private attorney), and Mel Weiss (private attorney).

Quote of note (Judge Becker): “Congress originally thought that institutions in this new client-driven, as opposed to lawyer-driven, regime that it was creating would be the lead plaintiffs, but it really has not turned out that way. The only institutions that have agreed to be lead plaintiffs are public pension funds and a few union-related institutions. By and large, the mutual funds was the group that I think Congress had in mind–because they’ve got more stock than anybody in any of these corporations that go sour–but the mutual funds won’t touch it. Doing a cost/benefit analysis, they think that it just ain’t worth it for them to get involved. So the mutual funds have not come forth as lead plaintiffs. The private pension funds have not.”

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