James C. Rutten

Profile
Publications

Jim Rutten is a litigation partner with Munger, Tolles & Olson. Mr. Rutten devotes approximately half his practice to complex securities and shareholder derivative litigation, and the other half to class action and other commercial litigation matters, including in the areas of unfair competition, contract disputes, general tort law and consumer law. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in securities cases in federal and state courts around the country. Mr. Rutten joined Munger Tolles in 1998 after receiving his J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School and clerking for the Honorable John S. Rhoades, Sr. of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California.

Key Representations

  • Bank of America and Merrill Lynch in more than a dozen RMBS cases in federal and state courts in New York, New Jersey, California, Nevada, and Colorado. The cases have involved securities claims, common law fraud claims, breach of contract claims, and Trust Indenture Act claims. Many of these cases were dismissed at the pleading stage in their entirety, others were dismissed in part, and still others have been resolved on very favorable terms.
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and its securitization subsidiary in RMBS cases in federal court in New York and federal and state court in California. One of these cases was dismissed at the pleading stage, another was dismissed on summary judgment, and a related case was dismissed with prejudice voluntarily by the plaintiff following the grant of summary judgment. Mr. Rutten also spearheaded Wells Fargo’s efforts to oppose class certification in an RMBS class action, and the case settled shortly after Wells Fargo filed its opposition papers and before a decision on the certification motion.
  • The outside directors of IndyMac Bank’s mortgage securitization subsidiary in a case arising from what was then the second largest bank failure in U.S. history. The case was brought by institutional purchasers in dozens of offerings of IndyMac RMBS. After a year and a half of litigation, the outside directors voluntarily were dismissed with prejudice for no consideration.
  • Hewlett-Packard Company in a putative class action alleging the improper escheatment of shareholders’ stock. After another firm had handled the case for six years and litigated it in four different courts, MTO took over the case and defeated class certification.
  • Verizon Directories Corp. in a putative nationwide consumer class action alleging improper renewals of customers’ Yellow Pages advertising. Class certification was denied, and the case thereafter settled on an individual basis.
  • Verizon Communications Inc. in a case alleging the improper escheatment of an institutional purchaser’s stock. Summary judgment was granted in Verizon’s favor before it responded to the complaint and before any discovery was taken.
  • Mattel Inc. in defeating both a consolidated state and a consolidated federal court derivative action against Mattel and various Mattel directors and officers that stemmed from the 2007 summer recalls of Chinese-manufactured toys due to instances of excessive lead content and magnet detachments. The federal court proceeding was dismissed with prejudice for the plaintiffs’ failure to make pre-suit demand, and the state court proceeding was dismissed on collateral estoppel grounds following the federal court dismissal.
  • E*TRADE Securities LLC, as a plaintiff, in a federal securities action arising from a complex securities lending fraud perpetrated by dozens of defendants operating in multiple countries. After E*TRADE defeated the plaintiffs’ motions to dismiss and obtained spoliation sanctions against two of them, the case settled on very favorable terms.
  • Citigroup Inc. in a case alleging employee “raiding,” misappropriation of trade secrets, and related torts arising from the hiring of nine financial advisors from a competitor. Following a 50-day arbitration, the arbitration panel unanimously decided in favor of Citigroup on all claims.
  • Various pro bono clients, including a victim of human trafficking; a victim of a real estate scam; the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law in submitting an amicus brief in connection with the SDNY trial of a man accused of bombing the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; various former State Department Legal Advisers in submitting an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on the proper interpretation of the Alien Tort Statute; The Pink Daisy Project (an organization that assists individuals fighting cancer); and The Mean Girl Extinction Project (an organization dedicated to combatting bullying).

 

Jim Rutten is a litigation partner with Munger, Tolles & Olson. Mr. Rutten devotes approximately half his practice to complex securities and shareholder derivative litigation, and the other half to class action and other commercial litigation matters, including in the areas of unfair competition, contract disputes, general tort law and consumer law. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in securities cases in federal and state courts around the country. Mr. Rutten joined Munger Tolles in 1998 after receiving his J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School and clerking for the Honorable John S. Rhoades, Sr. of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California.

Key Representations

  • Bank of America and Merrill Lynch in more than a dozen RMBS cases in federal and state courts in New York, New Jersey, California, Nevada, and Colorado. The cases have involved securities claims, common law fraud claims, breach of contract claims, and Trust Indenture Act claims. Many of these cases were dismissed at the pleading stage in their entirety, others were dismissed in part, and still others have been resolved on very favorable terms.
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and its securitization subsidiary in RMBS cases in federal court in New York and federal and state court in California. One of these cases was dismissed at the pleading stage, another was dismissed on summary judgment, and a related case was dismissed with prejudice voluntarily by the plaintiff following the grant of summary judgment. Mr. Rutten also spearheaded Wells Fargo’s efforts to oppose class certification in an RMBS class action, and the case settled shortly after Wells Fargo filed its opposition papers and before a decision on the certification motion.
  • The outside directors of IndyMac Bank’s mortgage securitization subsidiary in a case arising from what was then the second largest bank failure in U.S. history. The case was brought by institutional purchasers in dozens of offerings of IndyMac RMBS. After a year and a half of litigation, the outside directors voluntarily were dismissed with prejudice for no consideration.
  • Hewlett-Packard Company in a putative class action alleging the improper escheatment of shareholders’ stock. After another firm had handled the case for six years and litigated it in four different courts, MTO took over the case and defeated class certification.
  • Verizon Directories Corp. in a putative nationwide consumer class action alleging improper renewals of customers’ Yellow Pages advertising. Class certification was denied, and the case thereafter settled on an individual basis.
  • Verizon Communications Inc. in a case alleging the improper escheatment of an institutional purchaser’s stock. Summary judgment was granted in Verizon’s favor before it responded to the complaint and before any discovery was taken.
  • Mattel Inc. in defeating both a consolidated state and a consolidated federal court derivative action against Mattel and various Mattel directors and officers that stemmed from the 2007 summer recalls of Chinese-manufactured toys due to instances of excessive lead content and magnet detachments. The federal court proceeding was dismissed with prejudice for the plaintiffs’ failure to make pre-suit demand, and the state court proceeding was dismissed on collateral estoppel grounds following the federal court dismissal.
  • E*TRADE Securities LLC, as a plaintiff, in a federal securities action arising from a complex securities lending fraud perpetrated by dozens of defendants operating in multiple countries. After E*TRADE defeated the plaintiffs’ motions to dismiss and obtained spoliation sanctions against two of them, the case settled on very favorable terms.
  • Citigroup Inc. in a case alleging employee “raiding,” misappropriation of trade secrets, and related torts arising from the hiring of nine financial advisors from a competitor. Following a 50-day arbitration, the arbitration panel unanimously decided in favor of Citigroup on all claims.
  • Various pro bono clients, including a victim of human trafficking; a victim of a real estate scam; the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law in submitting an amicus brief in connection with the SDNY trial of a man accused of bombing the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; various former State Department Legal Advisers in submitting an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on the proper interpretation of the Alien Tort Statute; The Pink Daisy Project (an organization that assists individuals fighting cancer); and The Mean Girl Extinction Project (an organization dedicated to combatting bullying).

 

Publications

  • Kiobel Commentary: Answers … and More Questions, SCOTUSblog (2013) (co-authored with Kristin Linsley Myles);
  • Collateral Damage and Securities Litigation, 2009 Utah Law Review 717 (2009) (co-authored with Bradford Cornell);

  • Market Efficiency, Crashes and Securities Litigation, 81 Tulane L. Rev. 443 (2006) (co-authored with Bradford Cornell);

  • A Litigator’s Perspective on the PSLRA’s Requirement That an Issuer “Identify” Forward-Looking Statements To Bring Them Within the Safe Harbor, included in Critical Corporate Disclosure, Governance Issues & the Proxy Process (Glasser Legalworks 2003); and

  • Note, Elasticity in Constitutional Standards of Review, 70 S. Cal. L. Rev. 591 (1997).