LOCATION: District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division
DOCKET NO.: 90-333
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1990-1991)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
CITATION: 501 US 350 (1991)
ARGUED: Feb 19, 1991
DECIDED: Jun 20, 1991
F. Gordon Allen, III - on behalf of the Respondents
Theodore B. Olson - on behalf of the Petitioner
Facts of the case
Media for Lampf, Pleva, Lipkind, Prupis & Petigrow v. GilbertsonAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 19, 1991 in Lampf, Pleva, Lipkind, Prupis & Petigrow v. Gilbertson
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 20, 1991 in Lampf, Pleva, Lipkind, Prupis & Petigrow v. Gilbertson
William H. Rehnquist:
The opinion of the Court in No. 90-333, Lampf, Pleva, Lipkind, Prupis, and Petigrow versus Gilbertson will be announced by Justice Blackmun.
Harry A. Blackmun:
This case comes to us from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and it concerns the period of limitations applicable to a federal suit or alleged misrepresentations in violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
The District Court granted summary judgment for the defendants on the ground that the complaints were not timely filed.
And it ruled that Oregon's 2-year limitations periods for fraud claims governed.
The Court of Appeals reversed.
It accepted Oregon's limitations period but it found that there were unresolved factual issues as to when the plaintiffs should have discovered the alleged fraud.
We reverse that judgment.
We hold that litigation of this kind must be begun within one year after the discovery of the facts and within three years after such violation.
We conclude that neither the 5-year period contained in the '34 Act's insider trading provision, added in 1988, nor state law fraud provides a closer and better analogy.
The limitations period is not subject to the doctrine of equitable tolling.
There is no dispute that the earliest of the plaintiffs' complaints was filed more than three years after the alleged misrepresentations.
And thus, the claims were untimely.
Justice Scalia has filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment; Justice Stevens has filed a dissenting opinion and is joined by Justice Souter; Justice O'Connor has filed a dissenting opinion and is joined by Justice Kennedy; Justice Kennedy also has filed a dissenting opinion and is joined by Justice O'Connor.