These guys have nothing to do with the case.

Blawgletter doesn’t often cover decisions from Florida’s intermediate appellate courts, but a decision out of West Palm Beach today justifies a deviation from the norm. 

The ruling arises from the purchase of Sunbeam stock by a company that financier Ronald Perelman controls.  The buyer sued Morgan Stanley for fraud that induced the transaction and won a jury award of $1.57 billion in actual and punitive damages.  Reversing, the Sunshine State’s Fourth District Court of Appeal held that Coleman produced no evidence supporting the award, concluding that Coleman improperly attributed losses in the value of Sunbeam stock over a period of years to the fraudulent inducement.  The court also refused to order a new trial.  One of the three judges dissented.  Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated v. Coleman (Parent) Holdings Inc., No. 4D05-606 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Mar. 21, 2007).

You may recall the case from reports about sanctions against Morgan Stanley for, er, difficulties in finding, preserving, and producing electronic documents.  No doubt MS’s lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis breathed a deep sigh of relief when the Court of Appeal rendered its decision.

Barry Barnett

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