More definitive than “bet the company” are “material cases” defined as influencing an investor to buy or sell stock

My writings on over-hyped “bet the company” litigation mostly has made the point that they are black swans (See my post of Oct. 27, 2011: bet-the-company with 8 references.). Which rare lawsuits fall into that cataclysmic category, where expense management flees, general counsel quake, and corporate futures hang in the gavel, is a journalist’s favorite joust, but a bit like defining obscenity.

Then I read in a two-part definition of “material cases,” (1) those that your company would consider significant – too loose a definition for me, or (2) those that would “impact an investor’s decision to buy, sell, or hold the company’s securities.” That second definition creates a standard that resonates with lawyers, at least with securities lawyers, makes sense, and pitches the significance of a case at the right level of major fiscal risk (or gain).

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