Daniel Robertson

Senior Associate

New York


Read full biography at www.orrick.com
Daniel Robertson is a senior associate in the New York office and a member of the firm's Complex Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group. He is a litigator, with a practice primarily focused on high-stakes, complex commercial disputes involving clients in the financial and technology sectors.  He represents clients in a wide range of matters in federal and state courts, both at the trial and appellate levels.

He has extensive experience in the financial services industries, complex commercial contract disputes, and products liability litigation.

Posts by: Daniel Robertson

District Court Allows NCUA’s RMBS Suit to Proceed Against RBS

Nat’l Credit Union Admin. Bd. v. RBS Sec. Inc. et al., No. 2:11-cv-05887 (C.D. Cal. July 18, 2011)

On March 16, 2015, Judge George Wu of the United States District Court for the Central District of California denied RBS Securities Inc.’s motion to dismiss the National Credit Union Administration’s second amended complaint.  In July 2011, NCUA sued RBS on behalf of WesCorp, a federal credit union, in order to recover billions of dollars for failed wholesale credit unions claiming investment banks misled them about the nature and quality of offered RMBS.  NCUA alleges that RBS’ underwriters downplayed investment risks and made misrepresentations in offering documents by underestimating the likelihood that borrowers would default on their mortgages.  Judge Wu said that the court would not consider a motion to dismiss parts of claims under F.R.C.P. 12(b)(6).  He noted that his approach differed from that of Judge John W. Lungstrum of the District of Kansas, who agreed to hear motions to dismiss portions of a claim in NCUA v. RBS Secs., Inc., No. 11-2340-JWL (D. Kan. June 20, 2011), denying and granting those motions in part.  Order.

 

US Bank Cannot Revive Majority of MBS Suit Against Citigroup

U.S. Bank NA v. Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp., No. 1:13-cv-06989 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 1, 2013)

On March 16, 2015, Judge George B. Daniels of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied the majority of claims in U.S. Bank’s attempt to refile an amended complaint against Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp. and CitiMortgage, Inc.  U.S. Bank, as RMBS trustee, had sued Citigroup in October 2013, alleging that it breached representations and warranties in a $832 million RMBS deal.  In November 2014, Judge Daniels dismissed most of the claims, but permitted leave to amend.  In addressing U.S. Bank’s proposed amendments, Judge Daniels first held that the cause of action for breach of representations and warranties was untimely as to certain loans under the six-year statute of limitations.  Next, it dismissed U.S. Bank’s second claim that Citigroup independently discovered defects in the loan pool through due diligence or government investigations, because U.S. Bank failed to allege non-speculative facts plausibly showing such discovery.  These rulings were substantially similar to those set forth in the November 2014 order.  Finally, Judge Daniels permitted U.S. Bank’s third cause of action to proceed, holding that the plaintiff sufficiently pleaded that CitiMortgage discovered breaches of representations and warranties during its servicing of the securitized loans, and did not fulfill its contractual duties to notify the parties of the breaches and to enforce Citigroup’s cure or repurchase obligation.  Order

New York Supreme Court Holds RMBS Claims Are Timely, But Accrual Provision Unenforceable

On March 3, 2015, Justice Marcy S. Friedman of the New York Supreme Court granted in part and dismissed in part Defendant Greenpoint Mortgage Funding, Inc.’s Motion to Dismiss an action in which it was said to have misrepresented the quality of loans underlying an RMBS transaction.  Plaintiff-Trustee, U.S. Bank National Association, argued that the case was timely under a provision of the governing Mortgage Loan Sale Agreement providing that no claim accrues for breach of a repurchase obligation until the purchaser discovers a breaching loan (or is so notified), the seller fails to cure such breach, and the purchaser makes a demand for cure.  The court rejected the plaintiff’s reliance on this accrual provision, citing earlier decisions holding that New York law precludes the extension of an applicable statute of limitations by contract.  The court nonetheless concluded that the action was timely, finding that the plaintiff had pled sufficient facts to state a claim that Greenpoint was aware of breaches within the limitations period.  Additionally, Justice Friedman granted the motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims for (1) reimbursement of attorney’s fees, as these were not encompassed by the MLSA’s indemnification provisions, (2) all claims that sought relief beyond that permitted under the contract’s sole remedy provision, and (3) claims for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, which the court found to be duplicative of the underlying contract claim.  Order.

 

SDNY Declines to Reconsider Denial of Plaintiffs’ Summary Judgment Motion in RMBS Putback Case

On February 25, 2015, Judge P. Kevin Castel of the S.D.N.Y. issued an opinion denying reconsideration of a January 9, 2015 order that granted in part and denied in part the parties’ competing motions for summary judgment in MASTR Adjustable Rate Mortgages Trust 2006-OA2 v. UBS Real Estate Secs., Inc., 1:12-cv-07322 (S.D.N.Y.).  The plaintiff trusts moved the court for reconsideration of the prior ruling to the extent it (i) denied the trusts’ motion for summary judgment as to a purported repurchase obligation for a specified percentage of the underlying loan pool based on statistical sampling, and (ii) dismissed the trusts’ claims based on a “pervasive breach” theory.  First, the Court concluded that plaintiff’s submission of the results of their experts’ re-underwriting of a sample of loans in which the experts concluded that 37% of the sampled loans were “materially defective” was not sufficient to require repurchase of 37% of the entire loan pool.  Judge Castel reasoned that the reunderwriting conclusions “did not align with the materiality requirement of the parties’ agreements,” which require that the breach of a representation “materially and adversely affect the interest of the Certificateholders” in order to trigger a repurchase obligation.  Second, the Court reaffirmed its prior rejection of the plaintiffs’ “pervasive breach” theory, by which they argued that notice of “many” defective loans put the sponsor on inquiry notice and triggered an obligation to repurchase all defective loans.  The Court relied on the parties’ agreements, explaining that the parties could have, but did not, bargain for an inquiry notice standard.  Order.

 

Citigroup, Goldman, and UBS to Pay $235 Million Settlement in MBS Class Action

On February 13, 2015, the plaintiffs in New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund, et al., v. Residential Capital, LLC, et al., No. 08-cv-8781 (S.D.N.Y.) filed an unopposed motion for certification of the class and to approve a preliminary settlement.  The complaint, originally filed in 2008, included claims for materially false and misleading statements in securities offering documents under the Securities Act of 1933 against Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and UBS as underwriters for 16 mortgage-backed securities transactions in 2006 and 2007.  The class consists of investors who purchased the certificates, with the majority of the settlement funds set aside for investors who purchased their certificates within ten days after the relevant initial offering.  The proposed $235 million settlement does not include a $100 million settlement with Residential Capital, LLC that had previously been reached in the case.  Motion.

RMBS Fraud Claims Against Bank of America Dismissed

On February 6, 2015, Judge Stanley Chesler of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted in part and denied in part Bank of America’s motions to dismiss two related cases filed against it by several Prudential Insurance Company affiliates.  Prudential asserted common law fraud, misrepresentation, and RICO claims against several Bank of America entities arising out of Prudential’s investment in $1.9 billion in RMBS.  Judge Chesler dismissed Prudential’s fraud claim, holding that Prudential failed to adequately allege falsity and/or scienter in connection with alleged misstatements concerning occupancy status, appraisals, and credit ratings.  He also held that, for the 21 securitizations at issue for which Bank of America served as underwriter only, Prudential failed to allege with the required specificity which Bank of America entity made which challenged representations.  Judge Chesler dismissed both of Prudential’s negligent misrepresentation claims.  He granted Prudential limited leave to amend in connection with the fraud claim relating to those securitizations for which Bank of America served as underwriter only.  Opinion.

Goldman Sachs Settles RMBS Suit

On February 6, 2015, plaintiffs Union Central Life Insurance, Ameritas Life Insurance, and Acacia Life Insurance filed a letter with the court stating that they had reached an agreement with Goldman Sachs to settle claims arising out of the insurance companies’ investments in RMBS sponsored by Goldman Sachs.  The details of the settlement are not public.  The plaintiffs had asserted causes of action for violations of federal securities laws as well as for common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.  Letter.

S&P Settles RMBS Lawsuits for $1.375 Billion

On February 2, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services settled claims brought by the Department of Justice, 19 states and the District of Columbia related to credit ratings it issued and maintained for RMBS and CDOs before the financial crisis. As part of the settlement, it agreed to pay a total of $1.375 billion, with $687.5 million paid to the Department of Justice and $687.5 million to the states and District of Columbia.  Settlement Agreement.

Also on February 2, S&P settled similar claims brought by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). The terms of that settlement agreement have not been made public.

 

JP Morgan Settles RMBS Lawsuit for $500 Million

On February 1, JP Morgan Chase & Co. settled federal securities claims brought by investors led by the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi and the New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund related to Bear Stearns’ sale of $17.58 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities. The settlement is subject to approval by U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York.  Settlement Agreement.

ResCap Liquidating Trust Repurchase Lawsuit Survives Motion to Dismiss in Part

On February 3, Judge Martin Glenn of the United States Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York denied defendants’ motions to dismiss four adversary proceedings brought by the liquidating trust for Residential Capital LLC against several originators of residential mortgage loans. The court ruled that the ResCap Liquidating Trust was the real party in interest and therefore had standing to pursue claims against the originators for breach of representations and warranties. The defendants also argued that the Trust lacked standing to sue with regard to loans that had been securitized, because a predecessor ResCap entity had assigned its rights concerning those loans to third-parties. The court rejected this argument, holding that the scope of the assignments raised factual questions that could not be resolved at the motion to dismiss stage. The court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss claims with respect to certain loans as time-barred, holding that New York’s six-year statute of limitations expired as to all loans sold to ResCap prior to May 14, 2006 (six years before the adversary proceedings were filed). Finally, the Court declined to rule on the scope of the remedy available to the Trust at the pleading stage.  Memorandum Opinion and Order.