2020 was another active year for securities litigation in the United States. Federal securities class actions continued to be filed at record levels notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, a number of those newly filed cases involved COVID-related claims. The number and size of announced settlements of securities cases also set a record, including two mega-settlements of more than $1 billion and a number of other large settlements.
Our 2020 Securities Litigation Year in Review focuses on significant securities-related decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal appellate courts. Perhaps the most significant development-though it remains to be seen-was the Supreme Court's grant of certiorari to review the Second Circuit's affirmance of class certification in the Goldman Sachs case. The decision in that case will bear upon whether defendants have a realistic chance of defeating class certification in most securities cases; at present, class certification is an uphill battle for defendants.
There was also notable activity in the federal appellate courts on key issues involving scienter, loss causation, and opinion statements following the Supreme Court's landmark Omnicare decision. We have also noted select important decisions by federal district courts and state courts in litigation against companies and their officers and directors.
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