Firm Wins Dismissal of Antitrust Case in Municipal Bond Industry

April 8, 2013

On March 28, 2013, Judge Richard Kramer of the San Francisco Superior 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. After hearing a full day of argument, 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. Patterson Belknap represented Ambac Assurance Corp. throughout this case, in which the insurers were 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.

Robert P. LoBue and Jonathan Hatch led the briefing and argument for the insurer defendants.