When are Securities Class Actions Dismissed, When Do They Settle, and For How Much? - Part II
It is well known that approximately one third of securities class action suits are dismissed, two-thirds settle, and hardly any go to trial. There is also abundant data on mean and median settlement amounts. But a lot remains unknown about the detail underlying these basic numbers. How many times do courts give plaintiffs an opportunity to amend a complaint before finally dismissing a case with prejudice?1 How often do cases settle during the pleading stage—that is, before a final ruling on a motion to dismiss—and how often during discovery? How many cases settle before even an initial ruling on a motion to dismiss? For cases that go to discovery, how long do the parties continue litigating before settling? How is settlement size related to settlement timing? What factors influence settlement timing and size? These questions, which we address below, are potentially important to lawyers, claims officers, monitoring counsel and others involved in the litigation and settlement process. They are important from a policy perspective as well because they can help us assess the total cost of this type of litigation.