For the first time in its history, the Pitt Law Securities Arbitration law clinic has filed an amicus curiae brief asking the Supreme Court to consider a Bear Stearns hedge fund investment fraud case stemming from the sub-prime mortgage crisis and subsequent questions about arbitration neutrality.
The clinic, composed of Pitt Law students Kieran O’Leary, Jeremy Papp, Stuart Carney, Fangxing (James) Li, Kelly Horejs, Joseph Fladung, Sydney Normil, Joseph O’Neill, and Andrew Karas, researched the case heavily in two teams before filing the 27-page brief with the nation’s highest court Mar. 14.
While the Supreme Court handles 10,000 case requests in a year, typically only 70 to 80 go to oral argument. However the filing of the friend of the court brief gives the clinic students the opportunity for real world case experience in research and navigating the motions of court filing.
In comments to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, clinic director Alice Stewart said the case has serious implications for small investors. “Ms. Stewart said the way the arbitrators and courts treated Mr. Stone has serious implications for all small investors.
"The holding in the [appeals court] opinion unduly burdens small investors, and that concerns me," Stewart said to the Post-Gazette. “This is an important issue. Just about everybody over 30 has an investment account, so it affects a lot of people.”
Read more about the case Stone v. Bear Stearns and the Pitt Law clinic’s related actions in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.