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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Ratings Agencies Sued By Ohio Attorney General

It was just a matter of time. Seeking a civil remedy for the oft-criticized credit ratings issued by the various ratings agencies, The Ohio Attorney General retained private counsel and has filed suit “on behalf of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio and the Ohio Public Employees Deferred Compensation Program.”

“Attorney General Cordray is drawing on the expertise of the law firms Entwistle & Cappucci LLP; Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP; and Schottenstein Zox & Dunn Co., LPA to assist with the litigation.”

The Lieff Cabraser firm is well-known for its class action work for plaintiffs. The Entwistle firm has significant experience in securities claims for pension funds and others. The Schottenstein firm is an Ohio commercial law firm. No doubt others will explore all the political connections.

The complaint is here. The claims are for negligent misrepresentation and violation of Ohio statutes. The suit is in federal court, so one assumes the first issues will be Iqbal/Twombly motions. I went through the complaint this morning and it seems to this observer more than adequate in laying out a compelling and logical claim backed by evidence garnered during Congressional investigations.

Big picture conclusions/thoughts/questions ? This suit is the latest example of how investigations by federal and state officials and agencies are increasingly used to generate evidence and facts to survive Iqbal/Twombly motions. Second, my personal belief is that there ultimately will be a flood of these lawsuits. with many filed by overseas entities. One question is whether and how these claims will be expanded to include “aiding and abetting” claims against law firms and other professionals. “Choice of law” questions also seem inevitable.

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