Bondar v. Bank of America Corporation et al - Document 40

Court Description:

MDL ORDER 1979 Signed by the Acting Chairman, J. Frederick Motz. (hdj, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/10/2008)

Oct 09, 2008 UNITED STATES JUDICIAL PANEL on MULTIDISTRICT LITIGATION IN RE: AUCTION RATE SECURITIES (ARS) MARKETING LITIGATION MDL No. 1979 ORDER DENYING TRANSFER Before the entire Panel:* Plaintiffs in thirteen actions have moved, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1407, to centralize this litigation in the Southern District of New York or, alternatively, in the Northern District of California. Plaintiffs' motion is supported by plaintiffs in eight constituent actions and a potential tag-along action; in the alternative, certain plaintiffs suggest centralization in the Northern District of Georgia. Responding defendants,1 plaintiffs in three constituent actions and a potential tag-along action, and lead plaintiffs in the Southern District of New York consolidated actions against Citigroup oppose centralization. This litigation currently consists of 29 actions pending as follows: 25 actions in the Southern District of New York, three actions in the Northern District of California, and an action in the Northern District of Georgia, as listed on Schedule A.2 * Judges Heyburn and Vratil did not participate in the decision of this matter. Bank of America Investment Services, Inc.; Bank of America Securities, LLC; Bank of America Corp. (collectively Bank of America). Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.; Citigroup, Inc.; and Brian Williams (collectively Citigroup). Deutsche Bank AG; Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.; E*Trade Financial Corp.; E*Trade Securities LLC; Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; JP Morgan Chase & Co.; JP Morgan Securities, Inc.; Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.; Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.; Morgan Stanley; Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc.; Oppenheimer & Co., Inc.; Oppenheimer Asset Management; Oppenheimer Asset Management, Inc.; Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc.; Freedom Investments, Inc.; Raymond James & Associates, Inc.; Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.; Raymond James Financial, Inc.; Royal Bank of Canada; RBC Capital Markets Corp.; RBC Dain Rauscher, Inc.; Suntrust Banks, Inc.; Suntrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc.; TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.; TD Ameritrade, Inc. (f/k/a TD Waterhouse Investor Services, Inc.); UBS AG; UBS Financial Services, Inc.; UBS Securities, LLC; Wachovia Corp.; Wachovia Securities, LLC; Wells Fargo & Co.; Wells Fargo Investments, LLC; Wells Fargo Bank, Ltd.; Wells Fargo Private Investment Advisors, LLC; Dan Hilken; Shalom Morgan; and Andrey Movsesyan. Plaintiffs' motion originally included two additional actions, which were dismissed in early July 2008. 2 1 -2On the basis of the papers filed and hearing session held, we are not persuaded that Section 1407 centralization would serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses or further the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. The actions before us are securities fraud actions filed in the wake of widespread failure in the market for auction rate securities (ARS). While the actions share some general common factual questions, no single action is against more than one defendant entity (or its affiliates and/or employees). Further, the actions involve different representations made to each purchaser of ARS, which will necessarily vary from institution to institution (and perhaps from ARS to ARS). The proponents of centralization have failed to convince us that any common questions of fact among these actions are sufficiently complex and/or numerous to justify Section 1407 transfer at this time. Alternatives to transfer exist that may minimize whatever possibilities there might be of duplicative discovery and/or inconsistent pretrial rulings. See, e.g., In re Eli Lilly and Co. (Cephalexin Monohydrate) Patent Litigation, 446 F.Supp. 242, 244 (J.P.M.L. 1978); see also Manual for Complex Litigation, Fourth, 20.14 (2004). Although Bank of America opposes centralization of all actions before the Panel, Bank of America requests centralization of the action and potential tag-along actions against it. Only one action is currently before the Panel against Bank of America; as such, the litigation lacks the multidistrict character required by Section 1407 for centralization, and we must deny Bank of America's request. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the motion, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1407, for centralization of these 29 actions is denied. PANEL ON MULTIDISTRICT LITIGATION _________________________________________ J. Frederick Motz Acting Chairman John G. Heyburn II, Chairman* Kathryn H. Vratil* W. Royal Furgeson, Jr. Robert L. Miller, Jr. David R. Hansen IN RE: AUCTION RATE SECURITIES (ARS) MARKETING LITIGATION MDL No. 1979 SCHEDULE A Northern District of California Lindell Van Dyke, etc. v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., C.A. No. 3:08-1962 Richard S. Bondar, etc. v. Bank of America Corp., et al., C.A. No. 3:08-2599 Nathalie Al-Thani v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., C.A. No. 4:08-1745 Northern District of Georgia Martin Zisholtz v. SunTrust Banks, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-1287 Southern District of New York Ronald D. Kassover v. UBS AG, et al., C.A. No. 1:08-2753 Richard Kraemer v. Deutsche Bank AG, et al., C.A. No. 1:08-2788 George Humphrys v. TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-2912 Judy Waldman, etc. v. Wachovia Corp., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-2913 In re UBS Auction Rate Securities Litigation, C.A. No. 1:08-2967 John Finn v. Citi Smith Barney, et al., C.A. No. 1:08-2975 Gary Miller v. Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc., C.A. No. 1:08-3012 Frederick Burton v. Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-3037 Richard Stanton, etc. v. Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-3054 Ricardo L. Sanchez v. UBS AG, et al., C.A. No. 1:08-3082 LHB Insurance Brokerage, Inc. v. Citigroup, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-3095 Lisa Swanson v. Citigroup, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-3139 Sharon Shawn Jamail v. Morgan Stanley, et al., C.A. No. 1:08-3178 John W. Oughtred v. E*Trade Financial Corp., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-3295 Defer LP v. Raymond James Financial, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-3449 Bette M. Grossman v. Oppenheimer & Co., Inc., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-3528 David M. Milch, etc. v. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-3659 Samuel A. Stockhamer, et al. v. Citigroup, Inc., C.A. No. 1:08-3904 Randolph Bonnist v. UBS AG, et al., C.A. No. 1:08-4352 Wedgewood Tacoma LLC v. Citigroup, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-4360 Eugene F. Brigham, etc. v. Royal Bank of Canada, et al., C.A. No. 1:08-4431 - A2 MDL No. 1979 Schedule A (Continued) Southern District of New York (Continued) David T. Vining v. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-4435 Milton Ciplet v. JP Morgan Chase & Co., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-4580 Saed Ghalayini v. Citigroup, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-5016 Sheldon Silverstein v. TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., et al., C.A. No. 1:08-5467