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About the SCAC

 

The Securities Class Action Clearinghouse (SCAC) provides detailed information relating to the prosecution, defense, and settlement of federal class action securities fraud litigation.

The SCAC team maintains a Filings database of 6,627 securities class action lawsuits filed since passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The database also contains copies of complaints, briefs, dispositive orders, and other litigation-related materials filed in these cases.

The SCAC offers regular email notifications of new securities class action filings and news. Institutional investors with more than $1.5 trillion in assets under management are registered with the SCAC to receive automatic notices of litigation developments that may affect investments in their portfolios. Hundreds of attorneys, executives, scholars, and media personnel have also registered with the SCAC. If you would like to receive email notifications, please sign-up here.

The SCAC has made significant contributions to the empirical study of class action securities fraud litigation.

In 2009, during a roundtable discussion on Securities Claims Statistics, the SCAC was recognized for utilizing the best methodologies and protocols for counting, classifying and reporting on securities class action lawsuits. The Smithsonian Institution also recognized the SCAC as an example of "visionary use of information technology in the field of education and academia." The SCAC has served as a model for other research databases that provide no- or low-cost content to the public. Projects that have been modeled on the SCAC include the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse from the Washington University in St. Louis, the Stanford-originated Intellectual Property Litigation Clearinghouse (IPLC, now known as Lex Machina), Stanford Securities Litigation Analytics, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Clearinghouse.

We have concentrated our resources on the data gathering methodologies.

Our researchers gather filings from the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) database and extract and analyze thousands of complaints, briefs, and other litigation-related material. We also extract information from documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), press releases and news articles, and academic sources. We are constantly fine-tuning our data gathering methodologies to ensure that we are capturing and publishing the best available data. We also welcome feedback concerning our methodology and the content of our site. Please send comments to scac@law.stanford.edu.

SCAC Database Sample Data

We track securities class actions filed in Federal Court after the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 came into effect. Therefore, our population of records consist of securities class action lawsuits filed in federal court on or after January 1, 1996.

We do not track lawsuits filed in state court where there is no parallel federal civil class action. Nor do we track SEC enforcement proceedings, but we track parallel federal civil class actions filed in federal court.

Definition of a Single Filing or Record in the SCAC Database

Often when there is a violation of the federal securities laws, issuers, underwriters, investment banks, broker firms, mutual funds, or a combination of these, will be sued in multiple class action complaints, filed by different named plaintiffs represented by different plaintiff law firms. While these filings often contain substantially similar allegations, there may be variations between the allegations or defendants in separate complaints. In the early stages of the litigation, one court will typically consolidate all of the related securities class actions into a single proceeding that can be jointly managed.

We undertake the challenge of compiling into a single “record” or “filing” all of the related lawsuits long before the courts consolidate those lawsuits into a single proceeding. A unique “record” or “filing” in our database thus consists of one or more securities class action complaints with the same underlying allegations filed against the same defendant or set of defendants. Later-filed complaints that arise out of the same subject matter become part of that record or filing.

Although a record or filing may consist of several related class action complaints, case summaries generally rely on information gleaned from the first identified complaint, which is used as a proxy for all of the related complaints. If multiple complaints are filed at one time, we rely on the complaint that appears to contain the most detailed allegations. If we locate an amended and/or consolidated complaint, we update the case summary and other information as needed.

1 · Can I obtain a paper copy of a document that is posted on the site?

Yes, most documents that are posted on the site can be downloaded and printed for free. However, we do not have the resources to mail or fax paper copies of documents to users.

2 · I am unable to print and/or download PDF court documents. What is happening?

Most documents that are posted on the site can be downloaded and printed by users for free. However, some of the PDF documents made publicly available by law firms are encrypted to prevent anyone other than the author from, among other things, printing the document. This restriction is not imposed by the SCAC. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are not able to circumvent this restriction.

If you require a hard copy of a PDF document that has been encrypted, you will need to contact the court where the document was filed or the firm that filed the document. The court will charge a fee to retrieve the document. Law firms may or may not charge a fee.

3 · What cases are included within the SCAC?

The SCAC includes all securities class action lawsuits filed in federal court since passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

4 · How often are the SCAC database and website updated?

The Filings database is updated each business day. The News section is updated two or three times per week. The Academic Articles section is updated annually. The Litigation Activity Indices and the Clearinghouse Reports which are led by Cornerstone Research’s team are biannual and annual publications.

5 · How soon after a new federal securities class action is initiated does the Clearinghouse send out an e-mail notification of the lawsuit?

We generally send out e-mail notifications once a week concerning all cases which have been filed since the previous notice.

6 · When will a new federal securities class action appear on the SCAC website?

We generally post the complaint on the same day that a lawsuit is filed, or within three business days when the complaint is not available in electronic format. A delay of five to seven business days may occur if Stanford Law School is shut down for a holiday closure, or if court documents need to be processed to make them text searchable.

7 · Can I get access to the underlying SCAC data in an Excel document or other format?

We do provide Excel spreadsheets to academic researchers who would like to use the underlying SCAC data for non-commercial empirical research and/or analysis. Data is provided pursuant to a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Use of the data is subject to the Terms of Service, which prohibits, among other things, use of the data for commercial purposes, unauthorized reproduction of data, as well as use of scraping tools or webcrawlers to access, process and/or index the data. If you are an academic researcher and you would like to access SCAC data for your non-commercial research purposes, please contact the SCAC Content Manager at scac@law.stanford.edu.

8 · Can we give individuals advice about such topics as whether an individual has enough evidence to bring a class action or whether or not an investor should join the class in a particular case?

No. While we will answer general questions about the nature, scope and operation of the Securities Class Action Clearinghouse, we are not able to provide any legal advice.

9 · Does the Clearinghouse modify documents before posting them?

No. We do not modify the text of documents before posting them to the site. An error in the original document will also appear on the posted document. Prior to 2000, when we had to create HTML versions of the court documents, an error in the document appeared with a "[sic]" symbol behind it. For formatting purposes, we have in a few instances modified the spacing or layout of a document, but not the content.

10 · What is a securities class action?

A securities class action is a case brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 on behalf of a group of persons who purchased the securities of a particular company during a specified period of time (the class period). The complaint in such an action generally alleges that the company and/or certain of its officers and directors violated one or more of the federal or state securities laws, and that plaintiff suffered some economic loss as a result of the violation(s). A suit is properly filed as a class action when the members of the class are so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable. For a case to proceed as a class action, there should be a well-defined commonality of interest in the questions of law and fact involved in the case. Further, the plaintiffs must establish that a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy and that the prosecution of separate actions by individual class members would create a risk of inconsistent and varying adjudications.

11 · Are there laws which protect individual investors against fraud by company management?

The Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are the main federal laws which prohibit such conduct. The text of these statutes is available at Securities Lawyer's Deskbook run by the University of Cincinnati College of Law. The URL is: http://taft.law.uc.edu/CCL/index.html. In addition, the states have their own securities laws, known as blue sky laws, which are designed to protect individual investors.

12 · Where can I find more information about securities class actions?

We have compiled a wealth of information about securities class action lawsuits on our website, including news of recent filings and settlements, trends, and empirical analysis. You can find relevant news articles, blog posts and academic articles on the Resources Tab. You can find relevant analysis and reports by Cornerstone Research, which relies on SCAC data, on the Litigation Activity Indices and Clearinghouse Research tabs.

13 · Will the SCAC remove or de-index documents referencing me or my client that are posted on the website?

Unfortunately, we cannot remove or de-index documents containing your name/your client’s name that are posted on the Securities Class Action Clearinghouse (SCAC) website. The SCAC operates as a public repository of court documents, news articles, and press releases. The goal of the SCAC is to make information about securities class action lawsuits available to scholars, judges, lawyers, investors, policymakers and the media. While we understand your/your client’s interest in anonymity, all information and documents in the SCAC are pulled from publicly available sources and form part of the historical record for a particular case.

Moreover, if we remove/de-index documents containing your name/your client’s name, we will have to remove thousands of public documents referencing the names of other parties (plaintiffs or defendants). Doing so would raise serious questions about the integrity of the SCAC.

Finally, removing or de-indexing documents from the SCAC would not remove information about you/your client from the public record. This information would remain broadly available through other sources.

This project is made possible only through the vision and generosity of Cornerstone Research and the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance.

Sign-up to create an account and access all features of the SCAC website

Please sign up to access restricted features of the SCAC website, including the Advanced Search form, full case pages, relevant court documents, and complete heat maps. When you sign up, you will have the option to save your search queries performed on the Advanced Search form.

If you have any questions regarding the sign-up process, please send an email to scac@law.stanford.edu.
 
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Press inquiries or for information about the content and functionality on this site, please contact scac@law.stanford.edu.

Cornerstone Research
For press inquiries about Cornerstone Research, please contact Elisabeth Gaubinger at egaubinger@cornerstone.com.

Limitations on Use:

The Securities Class Action Clearinghouse (SCAC) is a free public database and website designed to support corporate board members, executives, regulators, policy makers, journalists, lawyers, scholars, and the broader community in their understanding and awareness of securities class action litigation. Users of the SCAC can register to receive weekly email notices about recently-filed securities class action complaints and news in the area of securities class action litigation (“Email Notifications”).

The SCAC includes materials created by third parties, and serves as a repository of filing and settlement documents, court orders, dockets, and other litigation-related materials (“Third-Party Materials”). The SCAC does not own any of the intellectual property associated with the Third-Party Materials. Accordingly, Stanford University cannot grant or deny permission to use such materials and does not assume any responsibility for their content. Users of the SCAC are responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions from the appropriate rights holder for any use, reproduction and publication of these materials. Additionally, because the SCAC has no control over third-party websites and materials, you acknowledge and agree that the SCAC is not responsible for the availability of such external sites or resources, and does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for any content, advertising, products, or other materials on or available from such sites or resources. Your use of third-party websites, including all content provided on those sites, is subject to the terms of use, privacy policy, and other applicable terms of those websites.

Subject to the terms of this Terms of Service, with proper attribution, you may use the SCAC for your personal, non-commercial research or analysis. Academic researchers who wish to access the underlying SCAC data in Excel format should contact the SCAC at scac@law.stanford.edu. Scraping of the SCAC website is not permitted, as set forth below.

By use of this website and/or your agreement to these Terms of Service at registration, you confirm that you accept and agree to comply with these terms of use and that you agree:

  1. Not to reproduce, publish, distribute, sell, or modify the content of the SCAC for use on another website, app, blog, product, extension, publication, or service, except with the prior express written consent of Stanford University and applicable rights holders of the Third-Party Materials.
  2. Not to scrape the content of the SCAC or use web crawlers, spidering or other automated means to access, copy, index, process, and/or store any content made available on or through the SCAC.
  3. To abide by exclusionary protocols (e.g., Robots.txt, Automated Content Access Protocol (ACAP), etc.) that may be used by the SCAC or the content owners whose material is indexed or stored by the SCAC. You agree not to access parts of the SCAC to which you are not authorized, or attempt to circumvent any restrictions imposed on your use or access of the SCAC.
  4. Not to aggregate or otherwise use the content of the SCAC to create a site or a service that is similar to the SCAC.
  5. Not to use the SCAC for any unlawful purpose. We reserve the right to terminate or restrict your access to the SCAC if, in our opinion, your use of the SCAC may violate any laws, regulations or rulings, infringe upon another person's rights, or violate these Terms of Service.
  6. To respect our copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights as well as the intellectual property rights of others, including the applicable rights holders of the Third-Party Materials.
  7. Not to falsely indicate the endorsement of the SCAC or Stanford University of your project by any means.

Any unauthorized or prohibited use of any content may subject you to civil liability, criminal prosecution, or both, under applicable federal, state, local laws, or applicable foreign laws, rules, regulations, and treaties.

The SCAC provides users the option to register and access the service through a unique username and password (the “User ID”) that is for your personal, non-commercial use only. If you access the SCAC with a User ID, you agree as follows:

As part of the registration process, which may be necessary to obtain access to the SCAC, certain registration information may be provided to the SCAC, Stanford University, and its authorized employees, contractors, vendors, and agents. You represent that your registration information is accurate and truthful. You shall promptly inform the SCAC of any updates to your registration information in order to keep it true, accurate, and up to date. Each registration is for a single user only. The SCAC reserves the right to deny creation of your account based on the SCAC’s inability to verify the authenticity of your registration information.

The User ID may be used by you to gain access to the SCAC only for so long as you are authorized to access and use the SCAC in accordance with these Terms of Service.

Only you may access the SCAC through the User ID.

You agree to treat the User ID as confidential and not to disclose such User ID, either directly or indirectly, to any person.

You shall not use a User ID that the SCAC, in its sole discretion, deems offensive or inappropriate.

You are fully responsible for all usage and activity of the SCAC, including, but not limited to, any use of the User ID.

Registration and the creation of a User ID are meant solely as a convenience for users and confer no copyright, trademark, or other rights to the user. The SCAC reserves the right to terminate or suspend your access to the SCAC at its discretion.

Disclaimer of Liability

The information included, indexed, stored or made available on the SCAC and in the Email Notifications, whether provided by personnel employed by Stanford University or by third parties, is provided for the purposes outlined above only. The information is not intended as legal or any other professional advice and should not be considered as legal or any other professional advice.

In addition, neither Stanford University, nor any of its employees, agents, contractors, or affiliates, or third parties that provided services to Stanford University to create the SCAC, including Cornerstone Research, warrants the timeliness, accuracy or completeness of the information or analyses displayed in the SCAC, and we caution all users that inclusion of any information on this site or in the Email Notifications does not constitute an endorsement of the truthfulness or accuracy of that information. Use of the SCAC and the Email Notifications is at your own risk.

You understand and agree that the SCAC is provided "AS-IS" and that the SCAC assumes no responsibility for the update, timeliness, deletion, mis-delivery, or failure to store any user communications or personalization settings. We do not guarantee that our site, or any content on it, will always be available or that access to it will be uninterrupted. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we disclaim all warranties and representations and other terms which may apply to our site or any content on it, whether express or implied.

We will not be liable to you for any loss or damage, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, even if foreseeable, arising under or in connection with your use of, or inability to use, the SCAC or the Email Notifications, or your use or reliance on any content on the SCAC or in the Email Notifications.

Users agree to take responsibility for any use of the content on the SCAC or in the Email Notifications and to hold Stanford University and its employees, agents, contractors, and affiliates harmless from any claims.

Copyright

Copyright © 2023. The Leland Stanford Junior University (Stanford University). All Rights Reserved. The information and graphics contained in this web site are copyrighted and may not be distributed, modified, or reproduced in whole or in part without the prior written permission of Stanford University. Copyright is not claimed as to any part of the original work prepared by Cornerstone Research, including but not limited to material found in the Litigation Activity Indices section of the website. Cornerstone Research claims copyright of those materials. Copyright is not claimed as to any materials prepared by others, including the Third-Party Materials.

Documents are reproduced, stored, and displayed on the SCAC with permission from Bloomberg Law.

We may amend these terms from time to time. Please check these terms regularly to ensure you understand the terms that apply at that time.

Except as otherwise modified by the terms set forth above, use of this site is also subject to the Terms of Use for use of Stanford’s websites.

By use of this website and/or by creating an account with the Securities Class Action Clearinghouse (SCAC), you consent to the following privacy policy in addition to Stanford’s Online Privacy Policy:

When you first sign up with the SCAC, we will collect and process the following types of information from you: name, email, affiliation, and industry. Your name and email address are used solely for the purpose of creating your account and generating your username, and for sending email updates to users who voluntarily subscribe to receive such updates.

We may use anonymized web analytics to track user demographics, the types of searches our users run, and the pages our users visit while on the SCAC website. These analytics allow us to understand what features are of greatest interest to users, to enhance the features and services that we offer to our users, and to improve the user experience. We may share anonymized web analytics and anonymized user information with Cornerstone Research and with academics for research purposes. We may also share data internally with others at Stanford University and with third parties pursuant to valid legal process, as described in the Stanford Online Privacy Policy.

You can choose to save searches performed on the Advanced Search form. Those searches will be saved to your account indefinitely, or until you delete the searches or your account information.

You have the option to delete your account from our system at any time. To request deletion, please contact the SCAC Content Manager at scac@law.stanford.edu

For information about Stanford University's online privacy policy, please click here.

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