Second Circuit Had a Busy First Quarter of 2016

April 22, 2016 Published Work
Connecticut Law Tribune

So far this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has decided issues ranging from securities law to what it means to be "Hispanic." From that broad range, this quarterly review focuses on three cases of particular interest to Connecticut practitioners. The cases tackle issues such as courts' overzealous gatekeeping with regard to expert testimony; the settlement dilemma of class actions of dubious merit; and a warning to those seeking to withdraw representation before getting court approval.

In In re Pfizer Securities Litigation, 14-2853-cv, the Second Circuit continued its recent crackdown on district courts that have overstepped their role as gatekeeper of expert witness testimony, reviving a class action lawsuit seeking tens of billions of dollars in shareholder losses from a pharmaceutical giant. See last year's United States v. Litvak, 808 F.3d 160 (2d Cir. 2015), for a similar example. This time, the court addressed complicated questions about whether expert opinions can rely on novel legal theories and whether an entire opinion is invalid if only one severable theory is suspect.

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