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 class action and 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. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in securities cases in federal and state courts around the country, and has defeated class certification on numerous occasions. 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, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo and UBS in numerous RMBS-related cases brought by institutional investors on class and non-class bases in federal and state courts in New York, New Jersey, California, Nevada, and Colorado. The cases have involved federal and state law securities claims, common law fraud and other tort claims, breach of contract claims, and Trust Indenture Act claims. Many of these cases were dismissed at the pleading stage or on summary judgment, others were dismissed in part, and still others have been resolved on very favorable terms.
  • Verizon and Hewlett-Packard in three separate actions alleging the improper escheatment of shareholders’ stock. One of the cases was dismissed on the pleadings, and another was dismissed on summary judgment while still at the pleading stage. In the third, class certification was denied, and the case thereafter settled on an individual basis.
  • 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.
  • Citigroup 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.
  • Burrill Life Sciences Capital Fund III, L.P., as a plaintiff, in a fraud case against the Fund’s former general partner and former auditor (a Big Four accounting firm) arising from a years-long multi-million dollar embezzlement scheme.  After a year of litigation, the Fund settled with the former general partner for a significant portion of its damages, and then settled with the former auditor on a confidential basis.
  • E*TRADE, 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 defendants’ motions to dismiss and obtained spoliation sanctions against two of them, the case settled on very favorable terms.
  • 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.
  • Various pro bono clients, including (i) victims of human trafficking; (ii) the victim of a real estate scam; (iii) the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law in submitting an amicus brief in support of the prosecution in the SDNY trial of an al Qaeda operative who bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; (iv) 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; (v) several children’s advocacy organizations and law professors in submitting an amicus brief to the California Court of Appeal concerning the proper application of the Indian Child Welfare Act; (vi) the widow of a 9-11 victim in seeking compensation from the federal September 11 victims’ compensation fund; (vii) 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 class action and 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. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in securities cases in federal and state courts around the country, and has defeated class certification on numerous occasions. 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, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo and UBS in numerous RMBS-related cases brought by institutional investors on class and non-class bases in federal and state courts in New York, New Jersey, California, Nevada, and Colorado. The cases have involved federal and state law securities claims, common law fraud and other tort claims, breach of contract claims, and Trust Indenture Act claims. Many of these cases were dismissed at the pleading stage or on summary judgment, others were dismissed in part, and still others have been resolved on very favorable terms.
  • Verizon and Hewlett-Packard in three separate actions alleging the improper escheatment of shareholders’ stock. One of the cases was dismissed on the pleadings, and another was dismissed on summary judgment while still at the pleading stage. In the third, class certification was denied, and the case thereafter settled on an individual basis.
  • 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.
  • Citigroup 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.
  • Burrill Life Sciences Capital Fund III, L.P., as a plaintiff, in a fraud case against the Fund’s former general partner and former auditor (a Big Four accounting firm) arising from a years-long multi-million dollar embezzlement scheme.  After a year of litigation, the Fund settled with the former general partner for a significant portion of its damages, and then settled with the former auditor on a confidential basis.
  • E*TRADE, 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 defendants’ motions to dismiss and obtained spoliation sanctions against two of them, the case settled on very favorable terms.
  • 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.
  • Various pro bono clients, including (i) victims of human trafficking; (ii) the victim of a real estate scam; (iii) the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law in submitting an amicus brief in support of the prosecution in the SDNY trial of an al Qaeda operative who bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; (iv) 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; (v) several children’s advocacy organizations and law professors in submitting an amicus brief to the California Court of Appeal concerning the proper application of the Indian Child Welfare Act; (vi) the widow of a 9-11 victim in seeking compensation from the federal September 11 victims’ compensation fund; (vii) and The Mean Girl Extinction Project (an organization dedicated to combatting bullying).

Publications

  • The Subtle but Profound Impact of Halliburton II, Inside the Minds: New Developments in Securities Litigation (2015)
  • Kiobel Commentary: Answers … and More Questions, SCOTUSblog (2013) (co-authored with Kristin Linsley);

  • 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).