Dismissal of Antitrust Case in Municipal Bond Industry
In March 2013, a California state court dismissed a sprawling antitrust case that had been pending for over four years against five financial guaranty insurance companies and three credit ratings agencies. Our client was alleged to have entered into a conspiracy with the three rating agencies to manipulate municipal bond ratings to the detriment of the plaintiffs—over twenty California municipalities, counties and other governmental bodies. After hearing a full day of arguments, the judge ruled from the bench under the California Anti-SLAPP statute that the action implicated rights of free speech, but was brought without sufficient evidence. Then, in March of 2014, the court awarded attorneys’ fees of over $800,000 to the defendants, reputed to be the largest fee award ever granted under the California statute.
Firm attorneys Robert P. LoBue and Jonathan H. Hatch led the briefing and argument for the insurer defendants