Auction Rate Securities Litigation & Arbitration

The Securities Group at Levin Papantonio is currently pursuing claims against broker-dealers who underwrote Auction Rate Securities (ARS) issued by municipality agencies like states, cities, hospital districts, stadium districts, school districts, etc.  These Auction Rate Securities  were issued to fund capital projects and other financial needs for these municipal agencies.

Ultimately, many auctions failed in February of 2008 when the underwriters decided to stop supporting auctions.  As a result, the issuers (our clients) were forced to pay very high interest rates on the bonds and incurred hefty refinancing charges.   These penalties and high rates resulted in tens of millions of dollars in damage to most issuers.

In these cases, the municipalities and other bond issuing agencies were induced to issue ARS through alleged fraudulent representations of the broker-dealers.  Specifically, broker-dealers promoted the ARS market as far more robust than it actually was, while simultaneously withholding the fact that auctions were being propped-up through bids put forth by the very broker-dealers who were selling the securities. Without these self-serving bids, the auctions would have failed much sooner and municipalities would have avoided the Auction Rate Securities market altogether.

 Levin Papantonio along with co-counsel, Fishman Haygood (New Orleans) and Schneider Wallace (San Francisco, Phoenix) have taken these cases “soup to nuts” and have already resolved several in the clients’ favor.  Most issuers have substantial damages, multi-million dollars each. If you think there may be an impacted municipal agency in your community, please give us a call.   Contact attorneys Peter Mougey ( or James Kauffman (