Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

When Present Is Future and When It Isn’t: The Federal Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements

November 2017 Bar Bulletin

By Joseph E. Bringman

A July decision by the Ninth Circuit, In re Quality Systems, Inc. Securities Litigation,1 raises important questions as to when a public company’s allegedly false or misleading public statement is forward-looking, and therefore potentially exempted as a basis for liability under the federal securities laws by the safe-harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “PSLRA”).2

Unless a statement is subject to a specified exception,3 the PSLRA’s safe harbor precludes civil liability with respect to forward-looking statements in two instances. First, the safe harbor protects the maker of a false...

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