O’Melveny Worldwide

O’Melveny Secures Supreme Court Win for Client China Agritech

June 12, 2018


WASHINGTON, DC—June 11, 2018—The US Supreme Court today ruled unanimously in favor of O’Melveny client China Agritech in a closely watched class action case.

The firm’s coast-to-coast team, which has been defending China Agritech against securities claims since 2011, defeated three shareholder class actions involving almost identical allegations in the US District Court for the Central District of California. In 2017, the Ninth Circuit reversed O’Melveny’s third win on statute-of-limitations grounds, setting up a showdown on the issue of tolling—i.e., pausing the time period in which plaintiffs can assert claims.

O’Melveny partner Seth Aronson argued the case, China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, which tackled “stacked” class actions, addressing whether the statute of limitations should be tolled to permit a previously absent class member to bring a subsequent class action. In a 9-0 opinion, authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court answered no. The decision narrowed the tolling provisions the Supreme Court had established decades ago with its landmark American Pipe decision.

In a sign of the case’s significance to the securities industry, the Court received nearly a dozen amicus briefs, including submissions from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the US Chamber of Commerce.

“Today’s decision is not only a fantastic result for our client, but an important victory for defendants facing class actions,” said O’Melveny Chair Bradley J. Butwin. “I could not be more proud of the O’Melveny team behind this win. This unanimous decision is a testament to their great skill and hard work, and an example of what makes this firm’s litigation practice among the very best in our profession.”

In addition to Aronson, the O’Melveny team included partners Abby Rudzin, Anton Metlitsky, and Will Pao, counsel Brad Garcia, Michelle Leu, and Brittany Rogers, and associates Grace Leeper and Jason Zarrow.

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Christopher Rieck
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
+1 212 326 2218