Judge McMahon issued a written Order on Friday, answering the parties’ questions ahead of a bench trial in an ERISA case, and, in doing so, offered helpful guidance as to her practices in bench trials.

First, she was clear she does not want opening statements, and perhaps not even closing statements:Continue Reading Judge McMahon Ahead of Bench Trial: “Last Thing I Need Is Opening Statements”

In an opinion Friday, Judge Daniels dismissed an ERISA case brought by JP Morgan employees who invested in a company retirement fund of company stock and who allege that the company concealed multibillion dollar trading losses made by the so-called “London Whale.”  Judge Daniels had dismissed the case earlier (see here), but it was revived following the Supreme Court’s decision in 2014 in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, which announced a new legal standard for these types of cases.
Continue Reading Judge Daniels Dismisses ERISA Suit Against JP Morgan Over “London Whale”

In an opinion today, Judge Daniels denied JP Morgan’s motion to dismiss a shareholder class action arising from its multibillion dollar losses from trades made by the “London Whale.”   In an April 2012 conference call, CEO Jaime Dimon described the matter as a “tempest in a teapot,” and CFO Douglas Braunstein said he was “comfortable” with the bank’s position.  The bank argued that the complaint failed to adequately allege that those statements were inconsistent with what the executives were told at the time:

[T]he oft-quoted statements by Braunstein and Dimon, respectively, during the April 13 earnings call—that JPMorgan was “comfortable” with the positions and that the press reports were a “tempest in a teapot”—were entirely consistent with what Dimon and Braunstein had been told about the London traders’ positions. The very documents on which the Complaint relies show that before the earnings call, Dimon and Braunstein were repeatedly assured by CIO personnel in London and others that the London portfolio was “balanced” and “manageable,” that the losses then incurred would “mean revert” and that potential future losses were a fraction of what they turned out to be.

Judge Daniels disagreed:
Continue Reading Judge Daniels Allows “London Whale” Shareholder Class Action to Proceed