Amgen Preview

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the Amgen case. The official questions presented are:

1. Whether, in a misrepresentation case under SEC Rule 10b-5, the district court must require proof of materiality before certifying a plaintiff class based on the fraud-on-the-market theory.

2. Whether, in such a case, the district court must allow the defendant to present evidence rebutting the applicability of the fraud-on-the-market theory before certifying a plaintiff class based on that theory.

The court will be addressing a circuit split on these issues. Three circuit courts (Second, Fifth and, to a lesser extent, the Third) previously have held that materiality is a required part of the fraud-on-the-market analysis when evaluating whether a class should be certified. The Ninth Circuit joined a decision from the Seventh Circuit, however, in rejecting that position and holding that materiality is a merits question that does not affect whether class certification is appropriate.

Scotusblog has links to all of the relevant background materials, including the merits and amicus briefs, and an argument preview. Thomson Reuters and Forbes also have columns on the case.

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