The SDNY Blog is relaunching as a publication of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.  We expect to post several times a week on decisions and other developments in the Southern District of New York.  You can find us right here at www.sdnyblog.com, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s been happening in the Southern District while we were away:

  • Judge Berman vacated the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his alleged role in deflating footballs used during the 2015 AFC Championship Game.  Judge Berman concluded that “Brady had no notice that he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of ball deflation by others or participation in any scheme to deflate footballs, and non-cooperation with the ensuing Investigation.”


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In an opinion today, Judge Marrero denied SAC Capital’s motion to dismiss a class action brought by investors in Wyeth and Elan stock who traded contemporaneously with trades that SAC allegedly made based on inside information. SAC argued (among other things) that it already disgorged to the SEC an amount larger than the amount sought in the complaint for some of the claims, but Judge Marrero found that the precise amount of any offset would have to be determined in discovery:
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In an opinion today, Judge Forrest dismissed as untimely claims by a Korean bank, Woori bank, against Citi arising from Woori’s investment in Citi-sponsored CDOs.  Woori argued that it did not have the facts for its claims until the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report in 2011, but Judge Forrest —  echoing a similar decision by Judge Marrero in a similar suit Woori filed against Merrill Lynch (see our post here) — ruled that the underlying facts were known well before then. Woori alleged one category of facts, relating to the “Class V CDO,” that were not in the Commission report and not at issue in the prior ruling from Judge Marrero, but Judge Forrest ruled that those allegations could not revive an otherwise expired claim:
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In his latest MF Global ruling, issued today, Judge Marrero denied PriceWaterhouseCooper’s motion to dismiss a $1 billion malpractice and negligence suit brought by the bankrupt brokerage firm’s plan administrator. PwC had acted as an outside auditor and accountant for MF Global before it went bankrupt.  The plan administrator alleged that PwC “engaged in

As expected, the Second Circuit’s decision in a pending appeal involving Citibank paved the way for Judge Marrero to approve, in an opinion today, the SEC’s proposed $614 million settlement with SAC Capital. Judge Marrero initially expressed concern about the settlement being on a “neither-admit-nor-deny” basis, but, since then, a jury found former SAC Capital manager Matthew Martoma criminally liable for insider trading, and SAC Capital’s affiliate, CR Intrinsic, pled guilty to criminal insider trading. These facts appeared to assuage Judge Marrero’s earlier concerns:
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Judge Engelmayer issued an opinion yesterday resolving several motions in limine relating to an upcoming trial concerning the Beastie Boys’ suit accusing the makers of Monster Energy drinks of using Beastie Boys songs in promotional videos without authorization. Judge Engelmayer largely denied the Beastie Boys’ motion to exclude the testimony of Erich Joachimsthaler, a branding expert, who proposed to testify that the videos would not leave viewers with a lasting association between the Beastie Boys and Monster. He found that the testimony was “potentially relevant to the Beastie Boys’ actual damages” because “damages to the Beastie Boys would arguably be little, if any, if viewers would neither remember the Video nor retain from it an association between the Beastie Boys and Monster.” However, Judge Engelmayer was careful to limit the testimony to issues of damages, not liability:
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In a 79-page decision today, Judge Marrero largely denied a series of motions to dismiss a class action brought by customers of MF Global against the company and others formerly affiliated with the company. Echoing an earlier 105-page ruling denying a motion to dismiss a securities class action brought by MF Global shareholders, Judge Marrero lamented that the parties could not reduce or eliminate the extensive motion practice:
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In the civil litigation against the Madoff feeder fund Fairfield Greenwich, its auditors and others, Judge Maas on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day), denied the defendants’ letter motion to compel depositions of two SEC employees for the purpose of showing that, since Madoff successfully deceived the SEC, he could have also deceived the defendants.  Judge Maas found the proposed depositions to be of “marginal relevance”:
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