News & Results

Firms Slays Goliath Finance Firm Edward Jones in Dispute Over Fees.

  • Client Win

Today, the Firm won a major victory at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, securing reversal of the district court’s dismissal of our clients’ class action lawsuit against financial services company Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P. and associated entities and individuals, represented by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Our clients are traditional buy-and-hold investors invited by Edward Jones to move their assets from accounts where they were charged a small per-trade commission to accounts where they were charged an annual fee based on a percentage of total assets in the account regardless of the number of trades. The switch resulted in substantially higher fees than those our clients had been paying in their commission-based accounts. Our clients allege that Edward Jones violated federal securities laws and – key to the appeal – state law fiduciary duties by inviting them to switch accounts without informing them that the company had not conducted any suitability analysis to determine whether doing so was in their best interests.

The district court dismissed the case, concluding that it lacked jurisdiction under the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (“SLUSA”), 15 U.S.C. § 78bb(f)(1), (f)(5)(B). Our Firm secured a reversal from the Ninth Circuit. In a published opinion authored by Judge Milan D. Smith, Jr., the court found that the district court did, in fact, have jurisdiction over the clients’ state law fiduciary duty claims.

Partner Tony Brown handled the appeal for the Firm.

Click here to read the Ninth Circuit’s opinion, here to watch the oral argument for this case.