Texas A&M Law Review

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This Article examines Congress’s decades-long attempt to ensure that securities class action lawsuits of national importance are litigated in federal courts. The intent is limiting strike suits. Congress attempted to curtail strike suits through the enactment of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (“PSLRA”). The PSLRA required heightened pleading requirements to ensure the validity of federal securities class actions. Instead of solving the dilemma, plaintiffs circumvented the PSLRA by bringing fraud cases as state law claims. To combat the circumvention of the PSLRA, Congress enacted the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (“SLUSA”). SLUSA federally preempted state law claims based on alleged misrepresentations, untrue statements, or omissions of material facts, requiring them to be brought in federal court. However, SLUSA did not address the concurrent jurisdiction provision of the Securities Act of 1933. This created an anomaly whereby many federal claims under the 1933 Act were brought in state courts, while state fraud claims were required to be brought in federal court. Congress could have addressed this enigma when it enacted the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). Instead, CAFA, which reformed class actions generally, exempted most securities class actions from its rules. In 2018, the Supreme Court decided Cyan v. Beaver County and allowed 1933 Act claims covered by SLUSA to continue to be brought in state courts. The Court was silent on non-covered securities. This Article recommends how Congress can accomplish its goal of forcing important securities class actions into federal courts.



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