Lin et al v. Ecotality, Inc et al

Filing 47

ORDER by Judge Samuel Conti consolidating cases, appointing Joseph W. Vale as lead plaintiff, and approving Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP as lead counsel. (sclc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/13/2013)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 9 11 HUA-CHEN JENNY LIN and JONATHAN W. DIAMOND, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated 12 Plaintiffs, 10 13 14 v. ECOTALITY, INC., H. RAVI BRAR, SUSIE HERRMAN, 15 Defendants. 16 17 18 19 20 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case Nos. 13-cv-3791 SC 13-cv-3849 SC 13-cv-4579 SC ORDER CONSOLIDATING CASES, APPOINTING LEAD PLAINTIFF, AND APPROVING SELECTION OF LEAD COUNSEL INTRODUCTION Now pending before the Court are three related actions brought 21 on behalf of the purchasers of the common stock of ECOtality, Inc. 22 Lin v. ECOtality, Inc., Case No. 13-cv-3791 SC, Cohen v. ECOtality, 23 Inc., 13-cv-3840 SC, Fleming v. Brar, 13-cv-4579 SC (collectively, 24 the "Related Cases"). 25 issued false and misleading statements that artificially inflated 26 the price of ECOtality's stock, and that the stock price plummeted 27 when the truth was eventually revealed. 28 Business Wire published a notice of the pendency of these actions. All three actions allege that Defendants On August 15, 2013, 1 Since that time, six putative class members have moved for 2 appointment as lead plaintiff and approval of their selection as 3 lead counsel. 1 4 consolidate the Related Cases. These individuals also move the Court to 5 CONSOLIDATION OF RELATED CASES 6 As the Related Cases involve common questions of law and fact, 7 8 the motions to consolidate are GRANTED. The Related Cases are 9 hereby consolidated into Civil Action No. 13-cv-3791 SC for United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 pretrial proceedings before this Court. The consolidated action 11 shall be captioned: "In re ECOtality, Inc. Securities Litigation." 12 All related actions that are subsequently filed in or transferred 13 to this District shall be consolidated into this action for 14 pretrial purposes. 15 action, absent order of the Court. 16 consolidation, or to any other provision of this Order, must file 17 an application for relief from this Order within thirty (30) days 18 after the date on which a copy of this Order is mailed to the 19 party's counsel. 20 rights of any party to apply for severance of any claim or action, 21 for good cause shown. This Order shall apply to every such related A party that objects to such This Order is entered without prejudice to the 22 APPOINTMENT OF LEAD PLAINTIFF 23 The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) states 24 25 that district courts "shall appoint as lead plaintiff the member or 26 members of the purported plaintiff class that the court determines 27 28 1 ECF Nos. 17 ("Sarnoff Mot."), 18 ("Hoffman Mot."), 22 ("Marcha Mot."), 24 ("Dixon Mot."), 27 ("Bishop Mot."), 29 ("Vale Mot."). 2 1 to be most capable of adequately representing the interests of 2 class members." 3 sets forth a three-step procedure for identifying a lead plaintiff 4 using this standard. 5 pendency of the action, the claims asserted therein, and the 6 purported class period, along with notice that any class member may 7 move to serve as lead plaintiff within sixty days. 8 4(a)(3)(A). 9 criteria and the pending motions were timely filed. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3)(B)(i). The PSLRA The first step consists of publicizing the Id. § 78u- The notice published in Business Wire satisfies these In step two, the district court adopts the presumption that 11 the most adequate plaintiff is the person who has "the largest 12 financial interest in the relief sought by the class," and who 13 otherwise satisfies the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil 14 Procedure 23. 15 has the largest financial stake in this litigation since his 16 claimed losses are larger than the losses claimed by the other 17 class members moving to be appointed lead plaintiff. 18 also finds that Mr. Vale otherwise satisfies the typicality and 19 adequacy requirements of Rule 23. Id. § 78u-4(a)(3)(B)(iii)(I). Here, Joseph W. Vale The Court 20 "The third step of the process is to give other plaintiffs an 21 opportunity to rebut the presumptive lead plaintiff's showing that 22 it satisfies Rule 23's typicality and adequacy requirements." 23 re Cavanaugh, 306 F.3d 726, 730 (9th Cir. 2002) (citing 15 U.S.C. § 24 78u-4(a)(3)(B)(iii)(II)). 25 challenged Mr. Vale on this issue. 26 that step three has also been met. 27 28 In None of the other plaintiffs have Accordingly, the Court finds Therefore, the Court appoints Joseph W. Vale as the lead plaintiff in this action. 3 SELECTION OF LEAD COUNSEL 1 2 With respect to the selection of lead counsel, the PLSRA 3 provides: "The most adequate plaintiff shall, subject to the 4 approval of the court, select and retain counsel to represent the 5 class." 6 made a reasonable choice of counsel, the district court should 7 generally defer to that choice." 8 703, 712 (9th Cir. 2009). 9 of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP ("Robbins Geller") to represent 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3)(B)(v). "If the lead plaintiff has Cohen v. U.S. Dist. Ct., 586 F.3d Here, Mr. Vale has chosen the law firm United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 the proposed class. As Robbins Geller has been appointed lead 11 counsel in hundreds of other securities class actions, the Court 12 finds Mr. Vale's choice reasonable. 13 selection of Robbins Geller as lead counsel for the proposed class 14 is hereby APPROVED. Accordingly, Mr. Vale's 15 16 CONCLUSION 17 For the foregoing reasons, the Court (1) consolidates the 18 Related Actions, (2) appoints Joseph W. Vale as lead plaintiff in 19 this consolidated action, and (3) approves Mr. Vale's selection of 20 Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP as lead counsel for the proposed 21 class. 22 filed by Paul Sarnoff, Marvin Hoffman, Edgar D. Marcha, George 23 Dixon III, and Thomas J. Bishop are DENIED. The motions to appoint lead plaintiff and lead counsel 24 25 IT IS SO ORDERED. 26 27 28 Dated: December 13, 2013 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 4

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