Judicial Panel Grants Defense Request for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, Unopposed by Class Action Plaintiffs, and Transfers Actions to District of Maryland
Thirteen (13) class actions – 8 in Maryland and 5 in New York – were filed against Municipal Mortgage & Equity and others alleging that defendants “made materially false and misleading statements in press releases, investor conference calls and regulatory filings which ultimately had a negative impact in 2008 on [the company’s] common stock.” In re Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC, Securities & Derivative Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. August 13, 2008) [Slip Opn., at 1]. Defense attorneys for Municipal Mortgage filed a motion with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) requesting centralization of the class actions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the Southern District of New York or, alternatively, in the District of Maryland; responding class action plaintiffs supported centralization in Maryland. Id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class action lawsuits, id.; the Panel concluded that the class actions should be transferred to the District of Maryland “because (1) eight of the thirteen actions now before the Panel are pending there, and (2) [Municipal Mortgage] is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and parties, witnesses and documents may be found there.” Id., at 2.