News - 2014
Saxena White P.A. Settles Jefferies Group, Inc.
Saxena White served as co-lead counsel in a class action involving breach of fiduciary duty claims against the board of directors of Jefferies Group, Inc., in connection with that company’s merger with Leucadia National Corporation. In 2012, Jefferies entered into a merger agreement with Leucadia, a holding company which owned 28% of Jefferies and whose founders served on Jefferies’ board. Leucadia’s founders had a longstanding personal and professional relationship with Jefferies CEO, Richard Handler, which included lucrative joint ventures, personal investment advice and support, numerous financing transactions, and off-market stock purchases. As Leucadia’s founders neared retirement, Handler recognized an opportunity to merge his company with Leucadia and serve as CEO of the much larger, combined company. Negotiating in secret for months before informing the independent board members, Handler and Leucadia’s founders structured a deal that greatly benefitted Leucadia, to the detriment of Jefferies shareholders.
After aggressively litigating this case for almost two years and defeating the defendants’ motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment, the plaintiffs ultimately negotiated a settlement which required Leucadia to pay $70 million to class members, an outstanding result for former Jefferies shareholders. The settlement is subject to final approval by the Delaware Court of Chancery.
We Have Moved!
Our new address: Boca Center, 5200 Town Center Circle, Suite 601, Boca Raton, FL, 33486
Phone and facsimile numbers remain the same.
Jonathan M. Stein Recognized as Florida Legal Elite
ST. PETERSBURG, FL. (June 24, 2014) – Jonathan M. Stein of Saxena White, P.A. in Boca Raton, Florida was recently recognized in the 2014 edition of Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite™. The list of 1,165 honorees, published in the July issue of Florida Trend magazine, includes attorneys in private practice as well as top government and non-profit attorneys.
Actively practicing Florida attorneys were asked to name the attorneys that they hold in highest regard as professionals – lawyers with whom they have personally worked and would recommend to others. Florida Bar President Gregory W. Coleman notes, “With technology changing the legal profession faster than the speed of light, it’s nice to know there are still some very reliable and time tested pillars left in our community like the Legal Elite peer review process. This resource provides highly reliable data on our most exceptional attorneys.”
"Florida Trend’s 250,000 readers are executives who rely on the legal community for a multitude of corporate assignments,” says Publisher Andrew Corty. “When we first published Florida Legal Elite in 2004, our goal was to provide a valuable resource for our readers. Over the past 11 years, I’ve heard many accolades about the program. Florida Legal Elite is a guide to selecting a trusted legal partner to handle delicate business concerns. Our website, FloridaTrend.com, offers another pathway for the dissemination of this key information.”
The entire Legal Elite report can be viewed at www.FloridaTrend.com/LegalElite.
Saxena White is Appointed Co-Lead Counsel in Tower Group International
On June 17, 2014, the Honorable Analisa Torres, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, entered an Order appointing Saxena White as Co-Lead Counsel. In Her Honor’s Order, Judge Torres noted that Saxena White “[has] significant experience in [the securities fraud class action] area and [is] well qualified to manage this litigation.”
Rhonda Cavagnaro Joins Saxena White
Rhonda Cavagnaro is Special Counsel to Saxena White and a member of the firm’s Institutional Outreach group. Ms. Cavagnaro brings extensive expertise in many areas of employee benefits and pension administration with nearly two decades of public fund experience.
Ms. Cavagnaro began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in New York City, where she was instrumental in creating the office’s General Crimes Unit, covering major crimes. While an ADA, Ms. Cavagnaro gained valuable trial experience and prosecuted hundreds of misdemeanor and felony crimes.
Ms. Cavagnaro began her career serving public pensions as Assistant General Counsel at the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS). She then went on to become the first General Counsel to the New York City Police Pension Fund in February 2002, where she worked for over 11 years, providing advice to the Board of Trustees and to the 140 member staff with respect to benefits administration, fiduciary issues, employment issues, legislation and transactional matters. Ms. Cavagnaro last served as the Assistant CEO for the Santa Barbara County Employee’s Retirement System (SBCERS), where under the general direction of the CEO and Board of Trustees, she oversaw the day to day operations of the System.
Ms. Cavagnaro is a frequent lecturer on fiduciary issues facing institutional investors, regularly speaking at industry conferences to further trustee education. She is currently a member of the New York and New Jersey State Bars and is admitted in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and is a current member of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (NAPPA). She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York and earned her J.D. from the California Western School of Law in San Diego, California.
Saxena White Wins Motion to Dismiss Against ModusLink Global Solutions
Saxena White, serving as sole Lead Counsel, recently defeated Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss in the action styled Collier v. ModusLink Global Solutions, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 12-11044-DJC (D. Mass.). In noting that Defendants’ primary challenge to Plaintiffs’ complaint was whether Plaintiffs had demonstrated that the Individual Defendants acted with the requisite state of mind, the Honorable Denise J. Casper held: “Plaintiffs have . . . not only provided the Court with allegations by confidential witnesses that support a contemporaneous knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing as well as motive and opportunity allegations, but have also provided the Court with a litany of other allegations bearing on the issue of scienter.” Judge Casper accordingly denied Defendants’ motion in its entirety, finding that “plaintiffs have stated a claim under Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5,” and “have adequately pled their Section 20(a) claim.” The action remains pending before Judge Casper.
Saxena White Wins Motion to Dismiss Against Wilmington Trust
Saxena White is pleased to announce that on March 20, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware denied the various Defendants' motions to dismiss in In re Wilmington Trust Securities Litigation. The complaint generally alleges that Wilmington Trust misrepresented its loan loss reserve, credit risk, and underwriting practices to investors. In denying the motions, the Court explained that while Wilmington Trust told investors "that it mitigated credit risk," in reality "investors were not receiving all of the available information as [Wilmington Trust] was concealing its true financial position." The case against Wilmington Trust, its senior executives and board of directors, its independent auditor KPMG, and its secondary offering underwriters JPMorgan Securities and Keefe Bruyette & Woods, is now proceeding to discovery.
Institutional Investors Urge the SEC and Congress to Keep the Courthouse Doors Open to Shareholders Who Have Been Damaged by Securities Fraud
Institutional investors collectively managing assets that exceed $4.9 trillion, have called on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Congress to oppose forced arbitration in shareholder disputes. Over 200 major domestic and foreign institutional investors, who safeguard the retirement savings of millions, signed letters detailing how forced arbitration eliminates the rights of shareholders to hold corporations legally accountable for fraud and abuse. Please contact Joseph White or Maya Saxena for additional information on joining the effort to oppose this significant challenge to shareholders' rights.
Click Here to view the US Institutional Investor Letter to Congress