Confidential Witnesses

In an opinion today allowing a securities class action to be dismissed without prejudice, Judge Engelmayer expressed concern about the lawyers using confidential witnesses in complaint without confirming the accuracy of the statements attributed to them or warning the witnesses that their identity might have to be revealed. On the first point, the complaint’s 11 confidential witnesses were not given the chance to confirm the statements attributed to them and at least four believed they were misquoted or misleadingly quoted.  This risk of error, Judge Engelmayer concluded, counsels in favor of better diligence before filing a complaint. On the second point, Judge Engelmayer concluded that it was a matter of “decency” to alert confidential witnesses that their identities might eventually be revealed:
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