In Case Of A Tie

Was the U.S. Supreme Court’s Tellabs decision interpreting the “strong inference” pleading standard for scienter a victory for defendants? Not if the defendant is being sued in Boston (or any other locale within the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit).

In ACA Financial Guaranty Corp. v. Advest, Inc., 512 F.3d 46 (1st Cir. 2008), the First Circuit addressed the effect of Tellabs on its existing law. The court concluded that Tellabs was consistent with the scienter pleading standard previously applied by the court, except in one respect. Whereas the First Circuit had held “that where there were equally strong inferences for and against scienter, this resulted in a win for the defendant,” it was now clear under the Supreme Court’s “at least as compelling” standard for weighing inferences of scienter that “the draw goes to the plaintiff.”

Holding: Dismissal affirmed.

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