The legal landscape for class actions has gotten harder for plaintiffs to cross in the last decade or so. Today it got no worse. And plaintiffs and their counsel rejoice at that.
In Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds, No. 11-1085 (U.S. Feb. 27, 2013), the Court ruled 6-3 that a class of plaintiffs who allege a fraud on the market claim under federal securities law need not prove the materiality element in order to obtain class certification under Rule 23(b)(3).
Justice Alito joined in the majority opinion (by Justice Ginsburg) but wrote a concurrence to suggest the Court may someday want to toss the Basic, Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988), presumption that people who buy securities in an "efficient" market rely on the accuracy of information the market believes and therefore incorporates into the market price of securities.
Justices Scalia and Thomas wrote dissents. Justice Kennedy joined in the Thomas dissent, and Justice Scalia joined in it except for part I.B.
Another class case, Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, No. 11-864 (U.S.), remains under advisement. Blawgletter had the honor of arguing Behrend on the same day as Amgen.