SAN FRANCISCO, CA (November 28, 2007) – LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – After a four-week trial in federal court in Oakland, California, Morrison & Foerster LLP won a complete defense verdict on behalf of JDSU (NASDAQ: JDSU) and three former executives on all claims in this class action alleging securities fraud and insider trading.
This is only the second defense verdict in a securities class action since the passage of the Reform Act in 1995, and only the fifth securities class action even to reach verdict since then. The rarity of a jury verdict for the defense in such cases was highlighted by the Wall Street Journal, which compared the outcome to a “Cambodian Forest Ox,” one of the most exotic mammals on the planet.
Morrison & Foerster represented JDSU, a leader in broadband and optical solutions, along with the company’s former CEO Jozef Straus, former CFO Anthony Muller, and former COO Charles Abbe. The trial team was led by San Francisco partners James Bennett, Jordan Eth, and Terri Garland.
United States District Judge Claudia Wilken presided over the trial, which ended after two days of deliberations by the nine-person jury. The case was filed in 2002 and prosecuted by the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds as lead plaintiff.
“This ruling upholds our belief that even in the most complex trials, once the facts are properly presented, juries are able to separate fact from fiction and come out with the correct verdict, as we certainly believe they did here,” said Mr. Bennett.
Mr. Eth added, “It is unusual for public companies to take securities cases of this magnitude to verdict, and we applaud JDSU and the individual defendants for their courage in defending themselves.”
Ms. Garland commented, “This outcome sends the message that defendants who are faced with meritless claims need not settle as a matter of course when faced with the prospect of a jury trial.”