Thursday, June 23, 2005

Broadcom Judge Shatters Record Held For Quarter Century

Big news today. Huge. A new all-time record has been set for the number of times the phrase "under the unique facts of this particular case" has ever been used in a reported U.S. decision. No kidding, ever. Judge Gary L. Taylor (C.D. Cal.) crushed the old record by wielding the phrase four times in one decision. You heard it right, four times. Actually, he did it six times if you are willing to count the extra "under the unique circumstances of this particular case" he started the whole thing off with, and the "under the particular circumstances of this case" he threw in for a second change-up.

But what about the old record? You can't remember? Surely you jest. Who among us doesn't remember where we were when the Juice was acquitted, the Berlin Wall came down, or the late California Jurist Bernard S. Jefferson issued his grumpy "under the unique facts of this particular case" not once, but twice, in his now infamous dissent in People v. Campbell, 87 Cal. App. 3d 678 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 1978), a sordid tale of a cellmate getting his "butt kicked in the dayroom of tank 3."

But we can't dwell on this milestone for long, as there is case law to be learned. So, what was it that was so unique? Well, in the Broadcom securities class action, the opposing sides were at odds over what type of model should be used to determine damages. The Plaintiffs wanted to use the trading model, while the defendants preferred the damages to be proven-up in the claims administration process. After a two day evidentiary hearing (reportedly during which fans were on the edge of their seats), Judge Taylor settled on Defendants' proposal. Sure there were lots of reasons, but how much would it help you to know them unless your case has facts that are just as "unique" as those in the Broadcom litigation.

In case your securities class action has the same facts as the Broadcom case boasts, you should run, not walk, to 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12118.

Nugget: "After review of the PSLRA, the Court concludes the statute neither requires nor prohibits proof of aggregate damages. The statute leaves it open for a court to select the most reliable method of damages proof that is available in that particular case."

Nugget: "Rule 23 allows district courts to devise imaginative solutions to problems created by the presence of individual damages issues in a class action litigation."

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