See the transcript of the oral argument this morning in Credit Suisse First Boston (USA), LLC v. Billing, No. 05-1157 (U.S.) here.

Blawgletter has now read the transcript and offers these impressions:

  • The plaintiffs’ lawyer said "no" about a gillion times.  That usually doesn’t bode well.
  • The plaintiffs had better hope Justice Scalia doesn’t write the majority opinion.
  • Justice Breyer asked several questions but had trouble articulating a coherent one.  Assuming that he represents a swing vote, that doesn’t look good for the plaintiffs either.
  • A couple or three of Their Honors noted concerns that the plaintiffs’ case (a) attempts an end run around federal limits on securities lawsuits and (b) would expose Wall Street to lots of discovery, automatic treble damages, and a temptation to settle.  Also not a good sign for plaintiffs.
  • The Solicitor General seemed to support a middle way between killing antitrust cases that implicate securities laws and leaving them alone.  If the plaintiffs live to fight another day, Blawgletter suspects that they will have the SG to thank.

Barry Barnett

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