The Economist has an interesting article (subscrip. req’d) on the recent court decisions in the research analyst cases. For non-subscribers, the article can be found in the Finance & Economics section of the April 24 edition.
Quote of note: “So far, Merrill Lynch seems to have hit the jackpot. All the litigation against it has been consolidated in New York under Milton Pollack, a federal judge who believes that there is no case to answer. Others have been less lucky: Lehman Brothers suffered a nasty setback last month when another federal judge in the same judicial district in lower Manhattan, Jed Rakoff, allowed litigation against it to proceed. These are, of course, early days; but because the stakes are so high, defendants on the end of adverse rulings are under great pressure to settle. It may well be that none of the civil cases lasts long enough to be decided by a jury.”
Disclosure: The author of The 10b-5 Daily is quoted in the article.