Whether selling company stock under a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan can help shield corporate executives from securities fraud liability is an open question. Although some courts have considered the existence of a trading plan in finding that an executive’s stock sales did not create a strong inference of scienter (i.e., fraudulent intent), a recent decision goes the other way. In In re Cardinal Health Inc. Sec. Litig., 2006 WL 932017 (S.D. Ohio April 12, 2006), the court held that it was “premature” to evaluate the impact of a trading plan at the motion to dismiss stage because it is an affirmative defense to insider trading allegations.