Frequently Asked Questions

What is a class action?

A class action is a type of lawsuit in which a representative or named plaintiff sues one or more defendants on behalf of other persons having suffered a similar type of harm. A class action may be appropriate when issues in dispute are common to all members of the class, and persons affected are so numerous as to make it impractical to bring them all before the court.

What are the benefits of a class action?

A class action levels the playing fields for individual plaintiffs who seek redress from large, well-financed corporations which have violated securities, consumer or antitrust laws. As stated by former United States Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, “The class action is one of the few legal remedies the small claimant has against those who command the status quo.”

What is a class definition?

A class definition is the scope of characteristics of the class. For example: anyone who purchased ordinary shares of Company “X”, or anyone who lived within one mile of Alaskan coast during the Valdez oil spill. The judge also, when appropriate, can divide the class into subclasses. In securities litigation, a class generally involves a specific period of time that starts when a company makes an untrue statement, or the day a company fails to disclose a material fact that it has a duty to disclose. The class period ends when the truth is revealed.

How do I know if I have a securities fraud claim?

You may have a claim if you purchased a company’s stock or bonds that decline in value following a significant negative disclosure about the company. Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. will quickly investigate the facts and advise you as to whether you may have a meritorious securities fraud claim. If you wish to discuss your claim or have any questions concerning your rights, please e-mail us at [email protected]. For a description of our securities litigation practice, click HERE.

What is a lead plaintiff in a securities class action?

A lead plaintiff is a shareholder, or group of shareholders, appointed by the court as most capable of representing the interests of the class members. The lead plaintiff in a securities class action usually, but not always, has the largest financial interest in the relief sought by the class. Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. provides investors with comprehensive information on specific requirements of lead plaintiffs for those securities class actions filed by our Firm. CONTACT US.

What are the responsibilities of a lead plaintiff in a securities class action?

Lead plaintiffs, once appointed by the court, select and retain counsel to represent the class. They are encouraged to have oversight of, and input about, the litigation of a class action beyond that of other class members; act as a representative party for all members of the class; and participate to convey the importance of the lawsuit.

How are damages calculated in a securities class action?

Parties often hire experts to calculate the amount the stock was inflated during the class period. Such calculations attempt to estimate the value of the stock, if all material facts were known at the beginning of the class period. This figure approaches, but does not necessarily equal, the amount of your investment lost as a result of fraud, because the stock price may have dropped during the class period due to other non-fraud factors.

How long does it take for a securities class action to be resolved?

It varies depending on a multitude of factors. Depending on how fast courts manage their dockets, some cases may settle shortly after the action is brought. Some cases may be litigated for years or, eventually, go to trial.

What does it cost to bring a class action?

Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. prosecutes all class actions on a contingency-fee basis. We seek fees from the court only if we successfully obtain a recovery. We advance all litigation costs and expenses, and in the event of a settlement or judgment, we will seek reimbursement for those costs and expenses from the court.

How much of the recovery will be used to pay attorney fees?

In class action litigation, ultimately, the fairness and reasonableness of legal fees is determined by the court overseeing the litigation. Generally, attorney’s fees are awarded as a percentage of the recovery achieved for the class. Such percentages may vary depending upon many factors, including the size of the recovery for the class and the length and complexity of the litigation.

What is a derivative action?

A derivative action is a lawsuit brought on behalf of the corporation by a shareholder to enforce a cause of action the corporation has against a third party, such as an officer or director. When a corporation possesses, but does not enforce, its rights against third parties, shareholders may bring a derivative action to enforce those rights. Because corporations are run by officers and directors who may not want to commence a lawsuit against one of their own – even when there has been wrongdoing – it may be necessary for a shareholder to institute a derivative action.

What types of charges are filed in a derivative lawsuit?

Derivative actions most often involve claims that officers and directors are wasting corporate assets, or that a corporation’s management or board of directors breached fiduciary duties owed to shareholders by negligence, mismanagement or self-dealing.

Do I have to own stock in the company to bring a derivative action?

You must be a current shareholder and continue to hold the stock until the derivative action is resolved.

How do shareholders benefit from derivative actions?

Relief granted from a derivative action is a judgment against a third person requiring them to pay money to, or make changes for, the benefit of the corporation. Money recovered is paid back to the corporation, which could have a positive effect on the stock price and benefit all current shareholders.

Will I have to pay anything if I bring a derivative action?

No. Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. advances all costs and recovers attorney’s fees only if the Firm obtains a benefit for the corporation and the court approves a fee.