Alison Frankel

Welcome to the MBS party, SEC — you’re only 3 years late!

February 10, 2012

If the Securities and Exchange Commission were an ordinary investor, it would already be too late in trying to sue the banks that issued (allegedly) deficient mortgage-backed securities.

Shareholder lawyers sue over Delaware forum-selection bylaws

February 8, 2012

Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check and Prickett, Jones & Elliott have absolutely nothing against Delaware Chancery Court. They’d be crazy if they did: The two firms were just awarded a record-setting $300 million fee for their work in the $1.3 billion Southern Peru derivative suit. Kessler Topaz and Prickett Jones lawyers make a very good living by litigating in Delaware.

MBIA appeals loss-causation ruling; joins BofA, Syncora

February 8, 2012

The megabillion-dollar game of chicken between Bank of America and the bond insurer MBIA just got even more perilous. On Monday MBIA filed a notice that it is cross-appealing the ruling by Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten. MBIA wants reconsideration of Bransten’s finding that the bond insurer is not entitled to summary judgment on its claims that Countrywide breached representations and warranties on the mortgage-backed securities MBIA agreed to insure. You might think MBIA’s decision to appeal is a surprise, given the many routes to recovery Bransten gave MBIA on its insurance fraud claims against Countrywide. But as always in the incredibly complex litigation between Bank of America and MBIA, there are many layers to every move by either side.

N.Y. AG’s new MERS suit: Where are the MBS investors?

February 7, 2012

After New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed his new complaint against JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and the Mortgage Electronic Registry System, I got an email from the AG’s spokesman. “Looking forward to your story on the MERS lawsuit in the wake of your inaccurate conjecture this week,” it said, referring to my column expressing skepticism that the recently-announced joint mortgage-backed securities task force will accomplish more than the individual task force members have.

Bad news for Countrywide MBS investors: LA judge tosses BofA

February 6, 2012

None of the firms battling Countrywide and Bank of America on behalf of mortgage-backed securities investors has dedicated more resources to the fight than Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. Quinn represents some of the biggest MBS claimants in suits against Countrywide, including AIG and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The firm also represents MBIA in the bond insurer’s long-running New York State case against Countrywide. If anyone on the plaintiffs’ side has the goods on Countrywide and Bank of America, in other words, it’s Quinn Emanuel.

What everyone missed in Facebook’s IPO filing

February 3, 2012

Buried on page 93 of Facebook’s Securities and Exchange Commission registration for its $5 billion initial public offering is a very interesting disclosure.

Barnes & Noble’s patent-misuse claim v. Microsoft: not dead yet!

February 2, 2012

On Tuesday, administrative law judge Theodore Essex of the U.S. International Trade Commission dealt a blow to Barnes & Noble. As the bookseller heads into trial next week on Microsoft’s claim that its e-readers infringe four Microsoft patents, Essex dismissed Barnes & Noble’s patent-misuse defense. B&N, you’ll recall, has waged an aggressive antitrust campaign against Microsoft, claiming that Microsoft is attempting to squelch the Android operating system by improperly asserting its patents. But next week’s trial won’t consider whatever evidence Barnes & Noble’s antitrust lawyers — at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Boies, Schiller & Flexner — have amassed. The ALJ will determine only the validity of Microsoft’s patents and whether Barnes & Noble infringes them.