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Supreme Court Affirms PHLX Settlement

Posted In Class Actions

In The Matter Of The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Inc., Del. Sup., C.A. 613/615, 2007 (Del. March 27, 2008)

This comprehensive decision explains Delaware law on the settlement of a class action when the proceeds of a settlement will involve buyers, sellers, and holders of stock in a Delaware corporation. This allocation problem is a difficult one and the Supreme Court held that allocation issues may be resolved in a separate hearing after the settlement with the defendants is approved.

The opinion is also important in explaining the scope of a release that the court will approve in connection with a settlement. There is often a tension between the interests of the defendants who ask for the broadest release possible and the interests of other litigants who want the release limited. Here, for example, objectors to the settlement had a federal case pending that arose out of the same core facts involved in this settlement. The Delaware Supreme Court permitted the release to include a claim arising out of those core facts even if it might affect the federal litigation.

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