James C. Rutten

Profile
Publications

Jim Rutten is a litigation partner with Munger, Tolles & Olson. He devotes approximately half his practice to complex securities and shareholder derivative litigation, and the other half to other commercial litigation matters, including in the areas of unfair competition, contract disputes, general tort law and consumer law. Mr. Rutten represents 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 United States District Court, Southern District of California..

Key Representations

  • 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 mortgage-backed securities.  After a year and a half of litigation, the outside directors voluntarily were dismissed with prejudice for no consideration.
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and its mortgage securitization subsidiary in a putative securities class action brought by institutional purchasers in dozens of offerings of mortgage-backed securities.  Mr. Rutten spearheaded Wells Fargo’s efforts to oppose class certification, and the case settled shortly after Wells Fargo filed its opposition papers and before a decision on the certification motion.
  • Mattel Inc. in defeating both a consolidated state and a consolidated federal court derivative action against Mattel Inc. 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 detachment problems.  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.
  • 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
  • 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 in April 2011.
  • 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 decided in favor of Citigroup on all claims.  
  • 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 Online LLC, a provider if Internet DSL service, in a putative consumer class action alleging statutory violations in connection with in-home service appointments.  The case was dismissed at the pleading stage after a demurrer to the initial complaint was sustained without leave to amend.

Jim Rutten is a litigation partner with Munger, Tolles & Olson. He devotes approximately half his practice to complex securities and shareholder derivative litigation, and the other half to other commercial litigation matters, including in the areas of unfair competition, contract disputes, general tort law and consumer law. Mr. Rutten represents 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 United States District Court, Southern District of California..

Key Representations

  • 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 mortgage-backed securities.  After a year and a half of litigation, the outside directors voluntarily were dismissed with prejudice for no consideration.
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and its mortgage securitization subsidiary in a putative securities class action brought by institutional purchasers in dozens of offerings of mortgage-backed securities.  Mr. Rutten spearheaded Wells Fargo’s efforts to oppose class certification, and the case settled shortly after Wells Fargo filed its opposition papers and before a decision on the certification motion.
  • Mattel Inc. in defeating both a consolidated state and a consolidated federal court derivative action against Mattel Inc. 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 detachment problems.  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.
  • 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
  • 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 in April 2011.
  • 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 decided in favor of Citigroup on all claims.  
  • 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 Online LLC, a provider if Internet DSL service, in a putative consumer class action alleging statutory violations in connection with in-home service appointments.  The case was dismissed at the pleading stage after a demurrer to the initial complaint was sustained without leave to amend.

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).