Who Is The Client?

The 10b-5 Daily has previously posted about a petition filed in New York state court against the plaintiffs’ law firms that settled the Computer Associates securities class action. Texas billionaire Sam Wyly is seeking the discovery collected in the case and argues that the firms have breached their fiduciary duty to him by not granting access to the materials because, as a CA shareholder, he was effectively a client of the firms until he declined to participate in the settlement.

The plaintiffs’ law firms removed the case to federal court, arguing that the petition raised numerous federal questions, including “whether under the PSLRA lead counsel represents the class as a whole or individual class members.” In Wyly v. Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, 2005 WL 1606034 (S.D.N.Y. July 8, 2005), the court disagreed, finding that none of the cited reasons were sufficient to find federal jurisdiction, and remanded the case back to state court. The court declined, however, to award Wyly any attorneys’ fees for fighting the removal, noting “the dubious nature of petitioner’s cause of action and the surrounding circumstances.”

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