Snowbird Jurisdiction

Time to catch up on a decision from a couple of weeks ago that might add some incentive for the Supreme Court to take up the issue of foreign-cubed cases. In In re CP Ships Ltd. Sec. Litig., 2009 WL 2462367 (11th Cir. Aug. 13, 2009), a class member objected to the proposed settlement because it covered certain foreign investors, some of whom might be prevented from participating in a related Canadian securities class action brought against the company. CP Ships is a Canadian company whose shares are traded on both the NYSE and Toronto Stock Exchange.

The court found, in contrast to the Second Circuit’s decision in the National Australia Bank case, that the “conduct test” for subject matter jurisdiction was satisfied. Although the false financial statements were issued abroad as in the Second Circuit case, “not only did the manipulation and falsification of the numbers occur in Florida, the executives with responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of the accounting data operated from Florida.”

Holding: District court properly exercised subject matter jurisdiction over the claims of foreign purchasers.

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