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January 2011

San Diego Partners Kimberly Howatt and Kevin Alexander Successful in Defense of Appeal in Securities Matter

Talley v. Valuation Counselors Group, Inc. (Dec. 22, 2010) -- Cal.App.4th --, 2010 Cal. App. LEXIS 2146.

Kimberly Howatt and Kevin Alexander were successful in defending against the appeal of an order denying plaintiff's request to set aside a judgment of dismissal secured in Gordon & Rees's clients' favor.  In a published decision, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's rejection of plaintiff's effort to revive his securities-based claim against our clients, a group of former directors of the Miller & Schroeder brokerage firm, after such claim had been dismissed, first on demurrer and after plaintiff's failure to timely amend, and again, due to plaintiff's untimely appeal of the dismissal order. 

Plaintiff's effort to reinstate his claim followed the Ninth Circuit's modification of a PSLRA bar order, issued in the course of the settlement of the extended In re Heritage Bond Litigation, which was asserted as a defense by other defendants in the state court case, who were likewise dismissed with no timely appeal taken by plaintiff.  In a case of first impression, the appellate court held that the trial court was not authorized to set aside any of the dismissal orders, regardless of the modification of the previously-issued bar order, and while the judge correctly reached this conclusion as to the Miller & Schroeder directors, she incorrectly set aside the dismissal orders of the other defendants.  Among all of the several parties in the appeal, only Gordon & Rees's clients were awarded their costs.

Kevin W. Alexander
Kimberly D. Howatt



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