Zack v. The Nasdaq Group Inc. et al
OPINION AND ORDER. Based upon the conclusions set forth in this Opinion and Order, the Plaintiff's motion to remand is denied. Re: 7 MOTION to Remand to State Court filed by Michael Zack, 11 MOTION to Remand to State Court (Refiled) filed by Michael Zack. (Signed by Judge Robert W. Sweet on 2/12/2013). (rjm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
IN RE FACEBOOK, INC., IPO SECURITIES AND
OPINION & ORDER
MDL No. 12-2389
Case Relates to:
12 Civ. 6439
A P PEA RAN C E S:
for the Plaintiff Michael
KANTROWITZ GOLDHAMER & GRAIFMAN, P.C.
747 Chestnut Ridge Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
By: Gary S. Graifman, Esq.
STULL, STULL & BRODY
6 East 45 th Street
New York, NY 10017
By: Howard T. Longman, Esq.
THE GRANT LAW FIRM, PLLC
521 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1700
New York, NY 10175
By: Lynda J. Grant, Esq.
Attorneys for NASDAQ Defendants
BALLARD SPAHR LLP
1735 Market Street, 51st Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
By: William A. Slaughter, Esq.
Margaret Osborne Padilla, Esq.
Paul Lantieri, III, Esq.
Stephen J Kastenberg, Esq.
Sweet, D. J.
Plaintiff Michael Zack ("Zack" or the "Plaintiff") has
moved to remand the proposed class action, on behalf of himself
and other similarity situated individuals, to the Supreme Court
for the State of New York, New York County (the "State Court"),
pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
Plaintiff originally filed a
complaint in State Court on behalf of all investors, charging
the NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. and the NASDAQ Stock Market LLC
(collectively "NASDAQ" or the "Defendants") with negligence
under New York law in the design of their systems and conduct
during the May 18, 2012 initial public offering ("IPO") of
Defendants removed this action to
the Southern District of New York and Plaintiff now moves to
remand the case back to State Court.
Upon the facts and conclusions set forth below, the
motion is denied.
I. Prior Proceedings
The facts and prior proceedings underlying this action
are set out in this Court's May 9 Opinion,
./ 12 MDL No. 2389,
n re Facebook. IPO
F.R.D. -- / 2012
(S.D.N.Y. Dec. 6, 2012), familiarity with which is
Accordingly, only a brief recapitulation of the
relevant facts will be provided here.
This action is one of
even class actions filed
against NASDAQ relating to the Facebook
The NASDAQ Actions were filed on behalf of
retail investors who contended that their orders to purchase or
sell Facebook stock were not properly executed or confirmed as a
result of systems issued experienced by NASDAQ on the day of the
Plaintiff, a New York citizen, commenced his original
action on June 26, 2012 by filing a complaint in the Supreme
Court of the State of New York on behalf of all investors, of
any citizenship, whose orders were allegedly affected by
NASDAQ's systems issues on the date of Facebook's
On July 16, 2012, NASDAQ removed that
1 The NASDAQ Actions also include:
s LLC et al. v.
NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. et al" No.
12); Goldberg v.
NASDAQ OMX Group Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-4054 (filed 5/22/12); Yan v. NASDAQ
OMX Group I Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-4200 (filed
NASDAQ Stoc_Lf.1arket LLC , et al. No. 12-cv-4201 (filed 5 5 12 ;
NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, et al., No. 12 cv-4315 (filed 6/1/12) i
NASDAQ Stock Market LLC , et al., No. 12 cv-4403 (filed 6/5/12); Steinman v.
NASDAQ OMX Group I et al., No. 12 cv-4600 (filed 6/12/12); Roderick v. NASDAQ
No. 12-cv-4716 (filed 6/15/12); McGinty v. NASDAQ OMX
No. 12-cv-5549 (filed 6/19/12) i and Eagan v. NASDAQ OMX
No. 12-cv-6882 (filed 9/11/12) .
action to the Southern District of New York under Section 4 of
the Class Action Fairness Act
("CAFA"), 28 U.S.C.
on the basis of federal questions concerning NASDAQ's
obligations and privileges as a self regulatory organization
("SRO") under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
(No. 12-cv 5466 RWS, Dkt. No.1).
On July 25, 2012,
Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed that action pursuant to Rule
41(a) (1) (A) (i) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
On August 7, 2012, Plaintiff filed the instant action
in New York state court, limiting the class to all persons or
entities resident in New York State and who "sought to purchase
and/or sell shares of Facebook during the early stages
IPO process, and suffered damages from order execution
On August 23, 2012, NASDAQ moved to
remove the case, asserting that the action "raises issues of
federal law" under the Exchange Act "and is thus subject to
federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
cv-6439 RWS, Dkt. No. I,
On September 24, 2012, Plaintiff
timely filed his motion to remand this action to New York state
On September 20, 2012, the United States Judicial
Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (the "MDL Panel") held a
hearing to determine whether the pending 41 filed actions should
be transferred to the Southern District of New York.
4, 2012, the MDL Panel issued a transfer order, finding that the
strict of New York is an appropriate transferee
district for pretrial proceedings In this litigation," and
reasoning that "[m]uch of the relevant discovery will be located
in New York, including most discovery relating to alleged NASDAQ
trading errors and discovery from the underwriter defendants,
many of whom are located
In re Facebook. IPO
Secs. & Derivative Litig., 12 MDL No. 2389, --
F. Supp. 2d
2012 WL 4748325, at *3 (J.P.M.L. Oct. 4, 2012).
The cases were
assigned to this Court for coordination or consolidation of the
On October 10, 2012, this Court issued a Practice &
Transfer Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
"October 10 Orderll), governing the practices and procedures for
the 41 related actions filed against NASDAQ, the Facebook
defendants, and certain underwriter
On October 26,
2012, this Court issued an order denying without prejudice "any
of the actions transferred to this Court by the MDL Panel or
removed to this Court [.]"
(the "October 26 Orderll).
conferences were held on November 7 and 14, 2012, in which a
briefing schedule was set for all remand motions.
Plaintiff accordingly re filed the instant motion to
remand on November 14, 2012 and it was marked fully submitted on
December 121 2012.
NASDAQ is a major American stock exchange and a SRO
registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the
to operate as a national securities exchange pursuant to
Section 6 of the Exchange Act.
See In the Matter of the
Application of The NASDAQ Stock Mkt. LLC for Registration as a
Natll Sec. Exchange.; Findings l Opinion l and Order of the
Comm'nl SEC ReI. No. 34-53128 (Jan. 13 1 2006), 71 Fed. Reg. 3550
(Jan. 23, 2006).
It has operated as a for profit publicly
traded company since 2000.
After engaging in a competitive bidding process with
the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSW')
NASDAQ won the right to
host the eagerly anticipated IPO of Facebook.
On May 18 1 2012,
Facebook offered 421 million shares of its common stock to the
public at $38.00 per share on the NASDAQ stock exchange, thereby
valuing the total size of the IPO at more than $16 billion.
IPO was initially set to open at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard
Time under the NASDAQ ticker symbol "FB," but was delayed.
According to the Complaint, the "opening was delayed
due to malfunctions in NASDAQ's automated system for processing
order cancellations and matching orders, which prevented certain
trades from processing properly."
(Compl. ~ 25).
trades and cancellations placed by retail investors through
brokerage services execute nearly immediately.
However, given the size of Facebook's offering, coupled with the
heavy demand among retail investors, the auction software could
not keep up with the rush of last minute modifications.
More specifically, according to NASDAQ's proposal to
amend Rule 4626,2 starting at 11:05:10 a.m., having proceeded
with the Display-Only period and the Quote-Only period, NASDAQ
Rule 4626 was adopted on January 13, 2006 as part of NASDAQ's registration
as a national securities exchange. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 53128
(Jan. 13, 2006), 71 F.R. 3550 (Jan. 23, 2006) (File No. 10-131). The rule
was amended in 2011 to the current version.
Securities Exchange Act
Release No. 64365 (Apr. 29, 2011), 76 F.R. 25384 (May 4, 2011) (SR-NASDAQ
Rule 4626 provides that except as set forth in the accommodation
portion of the rule:
"Nasdaq and its affiliates shall not be liable for any losses, damages, or
other claims arising out of the Nasdaq Market Center or its use.
damages, or other claims, related to a failure of the Nasdaq Market Center to
deliver, display, transmit, execute, compare, submit for clearance and
settlement, adjust, retain priority for, or otherwise correctly process an
order, Quote/Order, message, or other data entered into, or created by, the
Nasdaq Market Center shall be absorbed by the member, or the member
sponsoring the customer, that entered the order, Quote/ Order, message, or
other data into the Nasdaq Market Center./I
experienced system difficulties during the NASDAQ Halt and
Imbalance Cross Process (the "Cross"), until 11:30 a.m.
Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rule 4626
Limitation of Liability, SEC Rel. No. 34-67507 (July 26, 2012),
77 Fed. Reg. 45,706, 45,709 (Aug. 1, 2012)
(attached to Graifman Decl. Dkt. No. 13).
process during the first minutes of the Facebook IPO did not
operate as expected.
Id. at 9).
To protect the "integrity of
the IPO process, the system [for executing the Cross]
designed to recalculate the IPO auction if the matching engine's
view of the auction book has changed between the time of the
final calculation and the printing of the opening trade."
In the case of the Facebook IPO,
"[a]fter the initial
calculation of the Cross was completed, but before the opening
trade was printed, additional order modifications were received
by the system, changing the auction order book."
Id. at 10).
"As designed, the system recalculated the Cross to factor in the
new state of the book[, but again], changes were received before
the system could print the opening trade."
condition persisted, resulting in further delay of the opening
print [ . ] "
During this period, NASDAQ continued to receive new
order, cancel and replace messages, and they were added to the
Cross order book.
cancel and replace
messages received before approximately 11:11 a.m. were
acknowledged and incorporated into the Cross order book in real
NASDAQ determined that a system modification was
needed to resolve these issues and determined to institute the
but it proceeded with the IPO rather than to halt
the Cross auction process.
completed the Cross
(Id. ) .
"At 11: 30 : 09 a. m.
printed [the opening trade] at $42.00 to
and opened continuous trading
According to NASDAQ
system modification was implemented
at the time the
it was expected that "all
Cross transaction confirmation messages would be disseminated
Some orders received by NASDAQ between 11:11 a.m. and
11:30 a.m'l however I were not executed in the Crossj some were
cancelled in the ordinary course by members before the Crossj
some were entered into the continuous trading market at 11:30
a.m. as they should have been
and the remainder were either
cancelled or released into the market at 1:50 p.m.
Id. at 11)
transaction confirmation messages for orders
executed in the Cross at 11:30 a.m. were not disseminated until
In the period between 11:30 a.m. and 1:50
p.m., although system issues had prevented NASDAQ from
immediately disseminating Cross transaction reports, NASDAQ
determined not to halt trading in Facebook stock.
See Id. at
Following the commencement of trading, NASDAQ believed
that the remaining system issues would be resolved promptly, and
also concluded that there was an orderly, liquid and deep market
in Facebook stock, with active trading in the stock on NASDAQ
and other markets.
conclude that the conditions
This assessment also led NASDAQ to
ter 11:30 a.m. did not warrant a
halt of trading. See id.i see also Exchange Rule 4120(a)
(addressing the Exchange's authority to halt trading).
Plaintiff alleges that he placed an order with his
broker, Charles Schwab Corporation
at 10:55 a.m. on
the morning of the IPO to purchase 260 shares of Facebook stock.
At 11:38 a.m., after trading had commenced at
11:30 a.m. but before he had received any confirmation of
whether his trade had been executed, Plaintiff allegedly issued
a "cancel order" to attempt to cancel his trade.
According to the Complaint, notwithstanding the cancel request,
Plaintiff's initial order was executed at 1:05 p.m. when NASDAQ
"purchased H shares "at a trade price of approximately $42.00 per
share which was significantly greater than the opening price.
(Id. ~ 39).
The Complaint contends that the delay in the
confirmation of the execution of Plaintiff's trade and the
ilure to cancel that trade were due to the system issues
experienced by NASDAQ.
Plaintiff asserts that NASDAQ was "negligent in
performing these duties H
58) and that he and the putative
class suffered damages as a result
specifically, the Complaint contends that NASDAQ was negligent
in its design of the Cross
Id. ~~ 26-28, 58(b)), in its
execution of the Cross for the Facebook IPQ
Id. ~~ 28 30,
58(a), 58(c)), in its failure to "maintain an orderly trading
57), and in its decision not to halt trading even
though "Defendants could not properly execute the Class members'
(Id. ~~ 10, 58(a)).
A) The Standard Governing Removal
A civil action initially filed in state court may only
be removed to federal court if the action is one "of which the
district courts of the United States have original
Removal statutes are to be
"strictly construed, both because the federal courts are courts
of limited jurisdiction and because removal of a case implicates
signi f i cant fed eralism conce rns .
., 929 F. Supp. 174, 178 (S.D.N.Y. 1996).
The burden of proving the court's jurisdiction rests
on the party asserting jurisdiction.
See Montefiore Med. Ctr.
v. Teamsters Local 272, 642 F. 3d 321, 327 (2d Cir. 2011).
district court must remand a case to state court 'if at any time
before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction.'11
113 ( 2 d Ci r. 2003)
Vera v. Saks &
(quo t i ng 28 U. S . C.
1447 (c) ) .
Absent diversity of citizenship, whether federal
courts have federal question jurisdiction is typically governed
by the longstanding well-pleaded complaint rule l in which "a
suit 'arises under l federal law 'only when the plaintiffls
statement of his own cause of action shows that it is based upon
S. Ct. 1262
Vaden v. Discover Bank, 556 U.S. 49 1 60 1 129
173 L. Ed. 2d 206 (2009)
Nashville R. Co. v. MottleYI 211 U.S. 149
L.Ed 126 (1908)).
29 S. Ct. 42, 53
"[u]nder the well-pleaded complaint
rule, the plaintiff is the master of the complaint, free to
avoid federal jurisdiction by pleading only state claims even
where a federal claim is also available."
138 F.3d 46, 52
(2d Cir. 1998)
Marcus v. AT&T Corp.,
see also Montefiore Med. Ctr.,
642 F.3d at 327 (stating that "federal subject matter
jurisdiction typically exists only when the plaintiff's well
pleaded complaint raises issues of federal law, and not simply
when federal preemption might be invoked as a defense to
The artful pleading rule, however, exists as an
"independent corollary" to the well-pleaded complaint rule, in
which a plaintiff "omit[s] to plead necessary federal questions
in a complaint" to avoid removal.
Franchise Tax Bd. V. Constr.
Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 12, 103 S. Ct. 2841, 77 L.
Ed. 2d 420 (1983).
The artful pleading doctrine "empowers
courts to look beneath the face of the complaint to divine the
underlying nature of a claim, to determine whether the plaintiff
has sought to defeat removal by asserting a federal claim under
state-law colors, and to act accordingly./I
BIW Deceived v.
Local S6, Indus. Union of Marine & Shipbuilding Workers of Am.,
4, 132 F.3d 824, 831 (1st Cir. 1997)
(upholding propriety of removal by union based on complete
preemption and denying motion for remand).
Courts may thus
determine whether the plaintiff
c l o th[edl a federal law claim
state garb" in the complaint.
Travelers Indem. Co. v.
Sarkisian, 794 F.2d 754, 758 (2d Cir. 1986).
"If such is the
case, the reviewing court will 'uphold removal even though no
federal question appears on the face of the complaint."
v. Kazacos, 609 F.3d 512, 519 (2d Cir. 2010)
(citing Rivet v.
Regions Bank, 522 U.S. 470, 475, 118 S. Ct. 921, 139 L. Ed. 2d
The Grable Exception
Defendants contend that federal jurisdiction is proper
under Grable & Sons Metal Products, Inc. v. Darue Engineering &
Manufacturing, 545 U.S. 308, 125 S. Ct. 2363, 162 L. Ed. 2d 257
(2005) and its progeny.
In Grable, the Supreme Court addressed
the circumstances under which "federal-question jurisdiction
will lie over state-law claims that implicate significant
Id. at 312.
Grable involved a quiet title
action brought in state court under state law between two
Id. at 311.
Even though no federal cause of
action was pled, the defendant removed the case to federal court
on the ground that his right to title depended upon the validity
of the process employed by his predecessor in title to enforce a
federal tax lien.
The Supreme Court affirmed the exercise of
jurisdiction, noting that while federal question jurisdiction is
typically invoked in respect to causes of action created by
federal law, the Court had ftrecognized for nearly 100 years that
in certain cases federal-question jurisdiction will 1
state-law claims that implicate significant federal issues."
Id. at 312
Thus, federal question
jurisdiction is appropriately exercised when a case involves fta
state-law claim [that] necessarily raisers] a stated federal
issue, actually disputed and substantial, which a federal forum
may entertain without disturbing any congressionally approved
balance of federal and state judicial responsibilities."
B) Sufficient Federal Interests Exist to Confer Federal
Plaintiff contends that Defendants cannot meet their
burden of demonstrating that the instant action raises a
disputed federal issue, and that the narrow exception of the
well-pleaded complaint rule in Grable does not require the
invocation of federal jurisdiction.
asserts that the Complaint sets out a prima facie claim of
negligence,3 a claim under New York state law which is without
any references to the federal securities laws.
contends that his "claims do not implicate any disputed federal
questions which would give rise to federal jurisdiction"
Memo. at 10).
Plaintiff also maintains that a finding that
federal jurisdiction is lacking would be consistent with the
rcuit's decision in ------------~~--~~~~~~~~~~, 99
Barbara v. New
F.3d 49 (2d Cir. 1996), as "the mere application or
interpretation of the internal rules of a self regulatory
organization, including a national stock exchange formed
pursuant to the [Exchange Act] such as NASDAQ, does not present
a substantial question of federal law giving
se to federal
(Pl. Memo. at 12) .
Defendants, on the other hand, contend that remand
improper because the federal issues underlying
Plaintiff's state law claims are sufficiently substantial to
confer federal question jurisdiction.
Specifically, that the
resolution of Plaintiff's claims concerning NASDAQ's decisions
3 The elements of a prima facie negligence claim in New York are:
existence of a duty of care owed to the plaintiff, a breach of that duty,
such that the breach proximately caused the plaintiff's injuries.
v. Edelman, 40 N.Y.2d 781 (1976). Here, the Complaint alleges that
Defendants owed Plaintiff and the class a duty of reasonable care to design
and maintain its automated system, so that it worked properly during the
It further al
that Defendants had a duty to execute trade
orders promptly, accurately, and when necessary to maintain an orderly
trading market, or halt trading or cancel the Facebook IPO in the foreseeable
event that Defendants could not properly execute the class members' trades.
(Compl. ~ 57).
to delay the Facebook IPO and to not halt trading after the
Cross was executed at 11:30 a.m. on May 18, 2012, implicates the
substantial federal question of whether NASDAQ's conduct was
consistent with its regulatory responsibilities.
(Def. Memo. at
Thus, according to Defendants, Plaintiff's claims are
appropriately subject to jurisdiction by this Court because the
existence and scope of any duty owed by NASDAQ to Plaintiff with
respect to its decisions to proceed with the Facebook IPO Cross
and not to halt trading are federal questions, the resolution of
which is governed by the Exchange Act and the rules promulgated
and approved by the SEC thereunder.
(Def. Memo. at 18).
In Barbara, upon which Plaintiff relies, the SEC
initiated an investigation into alleged misconduct by Barbara, a
floor clerk at the NYSE.
Barbara, 99 F.3d at 51.
After the SEC
filed disciplinary charges, the NYSE suspended Barbara from
working on its floor, and he commenced an action in state court
alleging various state law claims on the premise that the NYSE's
actions were contrary to its internal rules governing admission
to the exchange floor.
Id. at 52.
Barbara's complaint alleged
that the NYSE had wrongfully barred him from the Exchange floor,
thereby damaging his reputation and causing him to lose
The NYSE subsequently removed
the action to federal court, and the district court dismissed
Barbara/s suit on grounds of failure to exhaust administrative
rd. at 52 53.
On appeal I the Second Circuit affirmed
rd. at 51.
Although Barbara did not move to remand and the
sdictional issue was not addressed by the district court or
ther party on appeal I the Second Circuit - - - - - " ' - - e
raised the question of subject matter jurisdiction.
rd. at 53.
noted that Barbara/s original complaint
did not present a federal question sufficient to justify the
district court/s exercise of subject matter jurisdiction
"the existence vel non of
. a private right of action [under
is the starting point for our inquiry into the
substantiality of the federal questions involved in a lawsuit."
rd. at 54.
The Court reasoned that Barbara had no such federal
claim because "the
persons for whose benefit section
[of the Exchange Act] was enacted consisted of investors
in the securities markets
[thus] any private right of action
under section 78f(d) was available only to such investors and
did not extend to member organizations
or their employees.
rd. at 54 (stating that Barbara was not a
member of the investing public, "but rather of the class of
persons whose conduct is regulated by the Exchange pursuant to
its duties under the Exchange Act.lf)
The Court determined that
internal rules of an exchange, such as its disciplinary rules
and procedures, are "contractual in nature
pursuant to ordinary principles of contract law, an area in
which the federal courts have no special expertise."
Id. at 54
Accordingly, the Court concluded that Barbara's state law
claims were insufficiently substantial to confer federal
Id. at 55.
Here, Plaintiff relies on Barbara for the broad
proposition that the claimed violation of an exchange's own
rules cannot justify exercise of federal question jurisdiction,
stating that "even if Plaintiff's negligence claims were
dependent upon reference to NASDAQ's internal rules, federal
jurisdiction would not be invoked."
(Pl. Memo. at 13 14).
facts in this case, however, are distinguishable from Barbara.
First, Plaintiff is not a member of the Exchange and has no
contractual relationship with NASDAQ.
Thus, unlike Barbara's
claim, Plaintiff's claim is not a matter of contract
interpretation, but a matter of what duties a national
securities exchange owes to members of the investing public.
These duties and obligations are imposed on exchanges, such as
NASDAQ, pursuant to the Exchange Act and the rules and
regulations promulgated thereunder.
unlike the interpretation
of ordinary principles of contract law in Barbara, here, an
examination of the Exchange Act's provisions is a field in which
federal courts have substantially greater expertise than state
Second, unlike Barbara who was employed as a floor
trader, the Plaintiff and the class of investors are precisely
the persons for whose benefit the Exchange Act was enacted and
for whose protection an exchange must follow such rules and
See 15 U.S.C.
78b (stating that regulation and
control of securities exchanges are necessary because, among
other things, it protects "interstate commerce, the national
credit, the Federal taxing power,
the national banking
system and Federal Reserve System, and [ ] insurers] the
maintenance of fair and honest markets in such transactions.
see also, e.g., Quote-Only Period Approval Order, 64 Fed. Reg.
at 4730 (finding that the Quote-Only Period is consistent with
the Exchange Act's requirements that exchange rules "be
designated to promote just and equitable principles of trade,
remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and
open market and national market system .
and informative quotations.
[and] produce fair
IPO Order Holding Bin Proposal,
77 Fed. Reg. at 19,045 (stating that the rule provision allowing
the entry of IPO Cross orders beginning at 7 a.m. are designed
to, among other things,
"protect investors and the public
In addition, in Barbara, the underlying substantive
issue was whether the NYSE had conducted its disciplinary
proceedings consistently with its own int
contractual obligation to its members.
rules and its
Here, in contrast,
Plaintiff's negligence claims depend on more than "reference to
NASDAQ's internal rules," as the Plaintiff suggests.
Rather, Plaintiff's claims are based on NASDAQ's
conduct in determining whether to suspend the Facebook IPO Cross
or halt trading in Facebook stock after the Cross.
asserts that "[i]nstead of making the decision to halt trading
or cancel the IPO, in order to save face, Defendants made the
negligent decision to delay the opening by only 30 minutes .
[and] then negligently proceeded with the IPO .
Plaintiff also alleges that, despite the system
issues that prevented timely distribution of IPO Cross
transaction reports and caused certain IPO Cross orders to be
mishandled, NASDAQ "still did not cancel the [Facebook]
thus failed to "maintain an orderly trading market."
Courts in this Circuit and
sewhere have regularly
accepted jurisdiction over state law claims asserted against
national securities when such claims are founded upon duties
imposed under the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to
the Exchange Act.
See D'Alessio v. New York Stock Exch., 258
F.3d 93, 101-102 (2d Cir. 2001)
(finding a substantial federal
interest where the resolution of the claims required na court to
construe federal securities laws and evaluate the scope of the
NYSE's duties, as defined under the Exchange Act and the
regulations and rules thereto, in enforcing and monitoring a
member's compliance with those laws.
Sparta Surgical Corp. v.
Nat'l Ass'n of Sec. Dealers, Inc, 159 F.3d 1209, 1212 (9th
(holding that although plaintiff's ntheories are posited
as state law claims, they are founded on the defendants' conduct
in suspending trading and de-listing the offering, the propriety
of which must be exclusively determined by federal law.");
'1 Ass'n of Sec. Dealers
(5th Cir. 1998)
Inc., 149 F.3d 330, 331
(affirming denial of motion to remand where
claims nthough carefully articulated in terms of state law, are
actions at law seeking to enforce liabilities or dut
by federal securities laws which are governed exclusively by
federal courts pursuant to 15 U.S.C.
for example, the Second Circuit found
that nthe 'federal ingredient
in the present action [was]
more significant than the federal interest in Barbara."
F.3d at 103.
While D'Alessio's claims were cast as state law
claims, the Court reasoned that D'Alessio's complaint did not
"simply challenge the propriety of disciplinary proceedings
conducted by the NYSE."
Id. at 101.
claims were "premised, in large part, on the NYSE's failure to
enforce and monitor compliance by its members with the Exchange
Act and the rules and regulations thereunder, as well as the
rules promulgated by the NYSE pursuant to the Exchange Act."
rd. at 103.
The Second Circuit noted that "[t]he source of the
duty imposed on the NYSE (as well as other SROs) is found in
federal lawj namely, in the Exchange Act.
Thus, it is the
propriety of the NYSE's actions, as prescribed under federal
law, that is at the heart of D'Alessio's claims."
in the original).
The Court concluded that there was a
sufficiently substantial federal interest to support removal to
federal court because the adjudication of the claims
"necessarily require[d] a court to construe both the federal law
governing securities trading on a national exchange and the
NYSE's role, as defined under federal law, in enforcing and
monitoring a member's compliance with those laws.
rd. at 104
(emphasis in the original) .
Plaintiff's state law negligence claims in the instant
case similarly implicate a substantial federal interest that
"does not simply challenge the propriety of disciplinary
proceedings conducted by" an exchange.
Id. at 101j see also
Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Thompson, 478 U.S. 804, 814
n.12, 106 S. Ct. 3229,92 L. Ed. 2d 650
1331 decisions can be understood as an evaluation of the
nature of the federal interest at stake.").
as to whether NASDAQ's conduct
Rather, an inquiry
connection with the Facebook
IPO was or was not consistent with the duties imposed upon
NASDAQ as a national securities exchange registered under the
Exchange Act, the rules and regulations promulgated by the SEC
under the Exchange Act, and NASDAQ's own rules 4 require a vastly
more significant federal interest.
Id. at 103
(stating that there is a strong federal interest where an
4 Of particular relevance to the claims asserted in this case, NASDAQ adopted,
through the Exchange Act's public rulemaking process and with SEC approval,
rules governing the Exchange's IPO Cross process - namely, Exchange Rules
4120 ("Trading Halts") and 4753 ("Nasdaq Halt and Imbalance Crosses"). As
explained in a recent filing amending Rule 4753:
Rule 4120 (a) (7) provides that trading in an IPO security is
halted until the security is released for trading. Rule
4120 (c) (7) (B) establishes the process for lifting the halt and
Under that rule, prior to terminating the halt, there is a 15
minute Display-Only Period during which market participants may
enter quotes and orders into the NASDAQ Market Center. At the
conclusion of the Display-Only Period trading commences through
the halt cross process provided for in Rule 4753.
Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend
Rule 4120, SEC ReI. No. 34-66652 (Mar. 23, 2012), 77 Fed. Reg. 19,044 (Mar.
29, 2012) (amending Rule 4120 to permit IPO orders to be entered prior to the
start of the Display-Only Period on the day of an IPO) .
The current versions of Exchange Rules 4120 and 4753 are available at
inquiry is necessary as to whether the NYSE "satisfactorily
performed its duty in identifying potential violations of the
federal securities laws.") i Friedlander v. Troutman
Lockerman & Ashmore, 788 F.2d 1500, 1504 (11th Cir. 1986)
(noting that "[t]he comprehensive scheme of statutes and
regulations designed to police the securities industry is
indicative of a strong federal interest.")
Frayler v. New York
, 118 F. Supp. 2d 448, 451 (S.D.N.Y. 2000)
(finding that "the question of whether the [NYSE] properly
11(a) of the Exchange Act is wholly a matter of
federal law, and indeed a matter of intense federal concern
given the importance of federal regulation of the stock market.
Congress expressly recognized this importance when it gave the
federal courts exclusive jurisdiction over violations of the
Exchange Act. 15 U.S.C.
The Second Circuit has also
noted that other courts have held "that state law claims against
self-regulatory organizations are preempted by the Exchange
Barbara, 99 F.3d at 59 (citing cases) .
In addition to Plaintiff's contentions about NASDAQ's
decision not to suspend the Cross and not to halt trading,
Plaintiff challenges the design
operation of the Facebook IPO.
the NASDAQ Cross and its
Plaintiff asserts that the Cross
"had significant design flaws," and finds fault with NASDAQ's
decision to keep the pre IPO trading window open for four hours
before a mid-day IPO[.]"
(Pl. Memo at 5-6).
These features of
the NASDAQ IPO Cross, however, were adopted through the public
rulemaking process established by the Exchange Act, under the
strict oversight of the SEC, as consistent with the requirement
of the Exchange Act.
Quote Only Period Proposal, 59
Fed. Reg. at 33,808; Quote-Only Period Approval Order, 64 Fed.
Reg. at 4729; Quote Only Period Rule Proposal, 68 Fed. Reg. at
54,256; 71 Fed. Reg. at 14,272; 77 Fed. Reg. at 19,044; Halt
Cross Rule Proposal, 71 Fed. Reg. at 19,573; 72 Fed. Reg. at
51,693 (amending Rule 4120 with respect to the Display-Only
Halt Cross Approval Order, 71 Fed. Reg. at 24,879; IPO
Order Holding Bin Proposal, 77 Fed. Reg. at 19,044.
resolution of these claims also requires a court to construe
federal securities laws and therefore implicates a substantial
Taken together, while Plaintiff's cause of action is
one pled under state law, it necessarily concerns a nfederal
issue, actually disputed and substantial, which a federal forum
may entertain without disturbing any congressionally approved
balance of federal and state judicial responsibilities."
Grable, 545 U.S. at 314.
Accordingly, there are substantial
federal concerns prominently figuring in the instant case
sufficient to confer federal question jurisdiction.
Based upon the conclusions set forth above, the
Plaintiff's motion to remand is denied.
It is so ordered.
New York, NY
February/ y, 2013
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