Whether and in what circumstances is the dismissal of an action that has been consolidated with other suits immediately appealable?
If that doesn't sound sexy enough for you, consider that the issue arises in massive litigation over manipulation of LIBOR — the London Inter-bank Offer Rate, a key interest rate benchmark for lenders and borrowers worldwide. In one of the cases that constitute In re LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:11-md-02262-NRB (S.D.N.Y.), the plaintiffs alleged only a federal antirust claim, and as a result of the district court's dismissal of all antitrust claims the case effectively ended for those plaintiffs. Must they nonetheless wait until everyone else finishes with their surviving claims before these antitrust-only plaintiffs can prosecute an appeal?
Alison Frankel of Reuters offers a splendid exposition of the background, the stakes, and the potential impact of the Court's granting of review. Frankel's piece highlights the effect of review on Blawgletter's clients in the case — and quotes us to boot:
[I]t’s certainly good news for Libor claimants that the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari by bond investors whose case [District Judge] Buchwald dismissed in its entirety when she bounced the Libor antitrust claims. “We are both optimistic and pleased,” said Barry Barnett of Susman Godfrey, who represents a class of investors in over-the-counter securities in the Libor litigation and filed an amicus brief urging the justices to grant the bond investors’ appeal. The cert grant, Barnett said, means that as the Libor class moves ahead with discovery on the claims that have survived Buchwald’s dismissal rulings, they have some hope that the federal antitrust claims will be revived.
The Court will likely hear oral argument in the appeal later this year.