Plaintiff investor, on behalf of himself and others similarly situation, sued defendants, investment bank and an individual, in state court alleging unfair business practices in violation of California Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200. Defendants removed to federal court on the grounds that the action satisfied all of the requirements of the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA), 15 USCS § 78bb. The investor moved to remand.
Trial lawyers specialize in defending clients before a court of law and in giving legal advice, conducting lawsuits, etc. The investor alleged that he held shares of «one or more» technology companies for which the investment bank published research reports. The putative class consisted of residents in the State of California who held shares in any of the companies anytime during the period from July 1, 1998 to December 31, 2001. The class specifically excluded claims based upon the purchase or sale of these companies during the class period. The investor alleged that defendants ’analyst research reports misled the general public and contained investment recommendations based not on objective research but rather upon what defendants’ actual and prospective investment banking clients supposedly wanted. The court found that the investor had not alleged any wrongdoing «in connection with» the purchase or sale of a covered security. Because the investor expressly disclaimed any harm based upon the purchase or sale of a security, his complaint was not properly removable under SLUSA. Therefore, defendants had not established that the investor brought the class action claim «in connection with» the purchase or sale of securities to satisfy the requirements for removal.
The motion to remand was granted.
HOLDINGS:  -Borrowers’ suit against a lender for alleged misconduct relating to the review of their application for a home mortgage modification failed because they did not predicate their Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17204, claim on violations of other law particularly as the complaint did not sufficiently allege violations of the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights (HBOR);  -In particular, the complaint did not allege an HBOR dual tracking claim since there was no allegation that the lender recorded a notice of default or notice of trustee’s sale, and the allegation that the lender should have provided a written denial did not constitute a dual tracking violation;  -Additionally, the borrowers’