U.S. Supreme Court says state courts may continue to hear securities class actions

Posted on: March 22nd, 2018 by Steve Larson
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In an important decision for investors, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 20, 2018, that state courts can continue to hear certain securities class actions brought under federal law. In the unanimous decision, the court said that amendments to the federal Securities Act of 1933 do not give the federal courts exclusive jurisdiction over covered class actions brought under the law.

In the matter of Cyan Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, a unanimous high court said that amendments to the federal Securities Act of 1933 do not in fact give the federal courts exclusive jurisdiction over covered class actions brought under the law. Instead, the court held that Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (“SLUSA”) still allowed state courts to retain concurrent jurisdiction over securities claims that involve 50 or more plaintiffs.

“SLUSA did nothing to strip state courts of their longstanding jurisdiction to adjudicate class actions brought under the 1933 Act,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the unanimous court.

The case is Cyan Inc. et al. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund et al., case number 15-1439, in the Supreme Court of the United States.