Munger, Tolles & Olson won a defense verdict for Wells Fargo on August 8 after a seven-week jury trial. Plaintiffs filed suit against Wells Fargo in federal court in Minnesota, alleging that the bank grossly mismanaged investments in its securities lending program by putting their assets in highly risky ventures and failing to disclose the deteriorating condition of the investments. In response to Wells Fargo’s argument that the losses were attributable to the financial crises, the jury rejected the plaintiffs’ allegations that the bank had marketed the program as risk free. The jury ultimately found that Wells Fargo did not misrepresent its investment strategy and was not liable on any of the plaintiffs' claims. This trial was considered a crucial test case for a related class action lawsuit (alleging $575 million in damages) that is scheduled to go to trial in the same court in April 2014.
The trial was conducted by Bart H. Williams, Manuel F. Cachán, Erin J. Cox and Bradley R. Schneider.
Mr. Williams has an active practice in trial work of all types, including commercial contract disputes and business torts, intellectual property disputes, antitrust litigation, attorney malpractice defense, employment law and white collar criminal defense.
Mr. Cachán focuses his practice on a wide array of complex civil litigation matters. In addition to his work as a trial lawyer, Mr. Cachán provides litigation and counseling services to leading national and international corporations.
Ms. Cox focuses her practice on complex civil litigation, with particular emphasis on securities and finance-related litigation.
Mr. Schneider’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, including bankruptcy litigation, employment, intellectual property, and antitrust disputes. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants at trial and arbitration in state and federal courts across the country.