Judge Mariana Pfaelzer of the Central District of California

Federal Court In California Finds Countrywide RMBS Suit Time-Barred

Judge Mariana Pfaelzer of the Central District of California ruled on August 10, 2011 that claims asserted by Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP on August 18, 2010 and in an amended complaint on February 14, 2011 were barred by the applicable statutes of limitations and repose. ABP had argued its claims under Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the ’33 Act were tolled by a class action in California state court against Countrywide on the same securitizations. Judge Pfaelzer held American Pipe class action tolling only applies where an earlier class plaintiff had standing as to the specific tranche. ABP was given leave to amend its complaint to allege tranche-specific tolling for its Section 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 claims. Judge Pfaelzer further held that plaintiff was on inquiry notice as of early 2008 about the allegations of fraud at Countrywide. She therefore dismissed ABP’s remaining claims, under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the ’34 Act, Sections 25400 and 25500 of the California Corporations Code, and state law fraud and aiding and abetting, based on the relevant statutes of limitations and repose, without leave to amend. Order.

Countrywide Moves to Centralize 12 Securities Actions

On May 24, 2011, Countrywide Financial Corporation and related entities moved the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation for an order centralizing twelve actions that allege that Countrywide made material misstatements and omissions to investors in connection with equity, debt, and mortgage-backed securities for consolidated or coordinated proceedings before Judge Mariana Pfaelzer of the Central District of California. In its motion, Countrywide asserts that the actions share common factual allegations, making them appropriate for centralization. Countrywide further argues that the twelve actions should be centralized before Judge Pfaelzer because she is “intimately familiar” with the factual and legal issues presented in these litigations from presiding over nine Countrywide-related actions for the past three years. Notice. Memo.