Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Chief Judge Pryor channels his inner rapper

 Check out this opinion, involving T.I.:

This appeal is about an initial coin offering of cryptographic tokens promoted by celebrities to fund a new movie-streaming platform. The platform never launched, and the value of the tokens plummeted a few months after the offering. After the limitations period had run, a purchaser, Kenneth Fedance, brought a putative class action for the sale of unregistered securities against Ryan Felton and Clifford “T.I.” Joseph Harris Jr., the purported co-owners of the company that issued the tokens. Fedance asserted that fraudulent concealment equitably tolled the limitations period, but the district court dismissed the complaint as untimely. We affirm.
That's the intro... but then the opinion gets fun, citing to T.I. lyrics throughout.  From CourthouseNews:

In a playful opinion littered with puns referencing Clifford “T.I.” Harris’s songs, a unanimous panel of 11th Circuit judges upheld the dismissal of a class action securities lawsuit against the rapper and ended investors’ attempts to recoup money they say was lost on worthless cryptocurrency investments.

In a 21-page opinion embellished with no fewer than seven references to T.I.’s oeuvre, a three-judge panel of the Atlanta-based appeals court ruled that the lawsuit failed to plausibly allege that the rapper or his business associate Ryan Felton fraudulently hid information which would have allowed the investors to assert claims under sections of the Securities Act.


“Anyone in Fedance’s position could say ‘You Know What It Is,’” U.S. Circuit Judge William Pryor, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote on behalf of the panel, referring to T.I.’s 2007 hit featuring Wyclef Jean.

“In conclusory fashion, Fedance alleges that neither he nor putative class members could bring claims for the sale of unregistered securities within the one-year limitations period because Felton and Harris fraudulently concealed the facts necessary to reach the legal conclusion that FLiK Tokens were securities. But you cannot make fraudulent concealment mean “Whatever You Like,'” Pryor wrote, quoting another song title.

Good stuff! A further note -- I interviewed Judge Pryor for my podcast, For the Defense, and his episode will be airing in mid-July.  I think you'll really enjoy hearing him discuss writing, appellate courts, and his background.


Anonymous said...

If Chief Judge Pryor has teenage children, they are surely face-palming.

Anonymous said...

LOL at 9:57 a.m. I must say this makes me feel better about historical references in briefs.

Anonymous said...

Cultural appropriation

Anonymous said...

So what is the difference between a "class action" and a "putative class action?"

Anonymous said...

You should interview Bill Mathewman for your podcast and have him explain the murder case in Aventura that resulted in a not guilty verdict. Would be very interesting

Anonymous said...

It's formally only a class action once the court certifies it as such. Courts use the term "putative class action" to mean an action with the goal to be brought as a class action.