/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/110727.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Wednesday, July 27, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 147


ALCOA INC: Bid for Clarification of ERISA Suit Dismissal Pending
BRIDGEVIEW BANK: Accused of Deceiving Customers in Illinois
CHINA MEDICINE: Sept. 16 Lead Plaintiff Deadline Set
CHIPOTLE MEXICAN: Appeal in Employees' Suit Still Pending
CHIPOTLE MEXICAN: Continues to Defend ADA-Related Suits

CVS PHARMACIES: Class Action Settlement Gets Preliminary Okay
GENERAL NUTRITION: Faces Class Action Over Labor Law Violations
GIBSON GUITAR: Sued Over Unpaid "Off the Clock" Work
GOLDMAN SACHS: Disputes Sex Discrimination Class Action
GROUPON INC: Faces Class Action Over Coupon Expiration Dates

HALLIBURTON CO: Continues to Defend Claims Over Macondo Incident
ILLINOIS: Transgender Plaintiffs Get Favorable Ruling
JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Court Dismisses Class Action
LOCKHEED MARTIN: Accused in N.Y. Suit of Misleading Shareholders
OPPENHEIMER CHAMPION: Aug. 3 Settlement Opt Out Deadline Set

POPULAR INC: November 2 Class Action Settlement Hearing Set
POWERCOR: Black Saturday Class Action Mediation Begins
ROSS STORES: Recalls 1,200 Acacia Chairs Due to Fall Hazard
THOMAS JEFFERSON: Files Response to Class Action
TICKET RESERVE: Settles Super Bowl Ticket Fraud Class Action

VARIAN SEMICONDUCTOR: Being Sold for Too Little, Suit Claims
YONGYE INT'L: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action

* Finra Proposal May Trigger Broker Class Actions


ALCOA INC: Bid for Clarification of ERISA Suit Dismissal Pending
Plaintiffs' motion for clarification of a court order dismissing
their class action lawsuit against Alcoa Inc. is pending,
according to the Company's July 21, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
June 30, 2011.

In November 2006, in Curtis v. Alcoa Inc., Civil Action No.
3:06cv448 (E.D. Tenn.), a class action was filed by plaintiffs
representing approximately 13,000 retired former employees of
Alcoa or Reynolds Metals Company and spouses and dependants of
such retirees alleging violation of the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act and the Labor-Management Relations Act by requiring
plaintiffs, beginning January 1, 2007, to pay health insurance
premiums and increased co-payments and co-insurance for certain
medical procedures and prescription drugs.  Plaintiffs alleged
these changes to their retiree health care plans violated their
rights to vested health care benefits.  Plaintiffs additionally
alleged that Alcoa had breached its fiduciary duty to plaintiffs
under ERISA by misrepresenting to them that their health benefits
would never change.  Plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory
relief, back payment of benefits, and attorneys' fees.  Alcoa had
consented to treatment of plaintiffs' claims as a class action.
During the fourth quarter of 2007, following briefing and
argument, the court ordered consolidation of the plaintiffs'
motion for preliminary injunction with trial, certified a
plaintiff class, bifurcated and stayed the plaintiffs' breach of
fiduciary duty claims, struck the plaintiffs' jury demand, but
indicated it would use an advisory jury, and set a trial date of
September 17, 2008.  In August 2008, the court set a new trial
date of March 24, 2009, and, subsequently, the trial date was
moved to September 22, 2009.  In June 2009, the court indicated
that it would not use an advisory jury at trial.  Trial in the
matter was held over eight days commencing September 22, 2009, and
ending on October 1, 2009, in federal court in Knoxville, TN,
before the Honorable Thomas Phillips, U.S. District Court Judge.
At the conclusion of evidence, the court set a post-hearing
briefing schedule for submission of proposed findings of fact and
conclusions of law by the parties and for replies to the same.
Post trial briefing was submitted on December 4, 2009.

On March 9, 2011, the court issued a judgment order dismissing
plaintiffs' lawsuit in its entirety with prejudice for the reasons
stated in its Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.  On
March 23, 2011, plaintiffs filed a motion for clarification and/or
amendment of the judgment order, which seeks, among other things,
a declaration that plaintiffs' retiree benefits are vested subject
to an annual cap and an injunction preventing Alcoa, prior to
2017, from modifying the plan design to which plaintiffs are
subject or changing the premiums and deductibles that plaintiffs
must pay.  Also on March 23, 2011, plaintiffs filed a motion for
award of attorney's fees and expenses.  Alcoa filed its opposition
to both motions on April 11, 2011.  The time for plaintiffs to
appeal from the court's March 9, 2011 judgment will not begin
until the court disposes of these motions.

BRIDGEVIEW BANK: Accused of Deceiving Customers in Illinois
Charles T. Mudd, on behalf of himself and others similarly
situated v. Bridgeview Bank Group, Case No. 2011-CH-25603 (Ill.
Cir. Ct, Cook Cty., July 21, 2011) was filed in connection with a
judgment by confession entered in favor of Bridgeview and against
Mr. Mudd for $510,993.

Mr. Mudd argues that the Judgment against him is a nullity and
should be vacated because the attorney, who confessed judgment
against him without process, did not have the authority to do so.
He also alleges that Bridgeview's conduct in obtaining a judgment
by confession against him was deceptive in that the power to
confess judgment was invalid, and hence, Bridgeview received a
judgment to which it was not entitled.

Mr. Mudd is a resident of Illinois.

Bridgeview is a bank and has an office in Cook County, Illinois.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Arnold H. Landis, Esq.
          77 W. Washington, Ste. 702
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 236-6268

CHINA MEDICINE: Sept. 16 Lead Plaintiff Deadline Set
Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP on July 22 disclosed that all persons
or entities who purchased the common stock of China Medicine
Corporation between November 30, 2006, and March 23, 2011,
inclusive have until September 16, 2011, to move the Court to
serve as Lead Plaintiff in the securities fraud class action
lawsuit.  The case is pending in the United States District Court
for the Central District of California.

China Medicine, through its subsidiaries, distributes
pharmaceutical and medical products in the People's Republic of
China.  The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period
defendants issued materially false and misleading statements about
the Company's business and financial performance.  On March 23,
2011, China Medicine filed a Form 8-K with the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) announcing that the Company's board of
directors had concluded that China Medicine's financial statements
for its 2008 and 2009 fiscal years and quarterly reports during
fiscal years 2008, 2009 and 2010 were unreliable.  On the next
trading day, as a result of the foregoing news, the price of China
Medicine stock dropped more than 53% from its closing price of
$1.16 per share on March 23, 2011 to a close of $0.54 per share on
March 24, 2011.

If you are a member of the class, you may move the Court, no later
than September 16, 2011, to serve as lead plaintiff; however, you
must meet certain legal requirements.  If you wish to discuss this
action or have any questions concerning this Notice or your rights
or interests with respect to these matters, please contact:

          Michael Goldberg, Esq.
          Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP
          1801 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 311
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Telephone: (310) 201-9150
          Toll Free: (888) 773-9224
          E-mail: shareholders@glancylaw.com
          Web site: http://www.glancylaw.com

CHIPOTLE MEXICAN: Appeal in Employees' Suit Still Pending
An appeal from a court denial of class certification in a lawsuit
against Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., remains pending in
California, according to the Company's July 21, 2011, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended June 30, 2011.

A lawsuit has been filed against the Company in California
alleging violations of state laws regarding employee record-
keeping, meal and rest breaks, payment of overtime and related
practices with respect to its employees.  The case originally
sought damages, penalties and attorney's fees on behalf of a
purported class of the Company's present and former employees.
The court denied the plaintiff's motion to certify the purported
class, and as a result the action can proceed, if at all, as an
action by a single plaintiff.  The plaintiff has appealed the
court's denial of class certification, and the appeal remains

Although the Company has various defenses, the Company says it is
not possible at this time to reasonably estimate the outcome of or
any potential liability from this case.

CHIPOTLE MEXICAN: Continues to Defend ADA-Related Suits
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., continues to defend class action
lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities
Act, according to the Company's July 21, 2011, Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended June 30, 2011.

In 2006, Maurizio Antoninetti filed lawsuit against the Company in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California,
primarily claiming that the height of the serving line wall in the
Company's restaurants violated the Americans with Disabilities
Act, or ADA, as well as California disability laws.  On
December 6, 2006, Mr. Antoninetti filed an additional lawsuit in
the same court making the same allegations on a class action
basis, on behalf of himself and a purported class of disabled
individuals, and a similar class action was filed by James Perkins
in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on
May 7, 2008.

In the individual Antoninetti action, the district court entered a
ruling in which it found that although the Company's counter
height violated the ADA, the Company provided the plaintiff with
an equivalent facilitation, and awarded attorney's fees and
minimal damages to the plaintiff which the Company has accrued.
The Company and the plaintiff appealed the district court's ruling
to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and on
July 26, 2010, the appeals court entered a ruling finding that the
Company violated the ADA and did not provide the plaintiff with an
equivalent facilitation, and remanded the case to the district
court.  The district court will now determine the damages and
injunctive relief and final award of attorneys fees to which
Mr. Antoninetti is entitled based on the court of appeals ruling.

The Company lowered the height of its serving line walls
throughout California some time ago, which makes injunctive relief
in both the individual and class actions moot, and has the lower
serving lines in a significant majority of its restaurants outside
of California as well.  The Company says it will vigorously defend
the class action cases, including by contesting certification of a
plaintiff class.  It is not possible at this time to reasonably
estimate the outcome of, or any additional potential liability
from, these cases.

CVS PHARMACIES: Class Action Settlement Gets Preliminary Okay
Amelia Flood, writing for The Madison St. Clair Record, reports
that a 2008 class action filed over the effectiveness of a generic
immune system supplement sold by CVS Pharmacies Inc. has settled
and is one step closer to being over.

Iean Finley and fellow lead plaintiffs Richard Harvey and
Linda Feibel filed the motion for initial approval of the
settlement July 12.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto entered his order
giving it preliminary approval July 18.

Mr. Finley led the suit on behalf of Illinois residents who bought
CVS's version of the popular immune system supplement Airborne.

Mr. Finely alleges he and class members were sold a supplement
that did not boost the immune system as claimed.

The Finley case is one of several immune supplement class actions
filed in St. Clair County in 2008.

The suits were filed by the team of lawyers -- Paul Weiss, Richard
Burke, and Kevin Hoerner.

At least one other immune supplement class action has settled
while another, brought against Target Corp., remains pending.

Judge Cueto certified the Finley suit in January 2010.

The parties spent much of the remainder of 2010 arguing over class

Under the proposed settlement, the class consists of those who
bought CVS's "Airshield" between July 1, 2005, and Nov. 30, 2008.

Epiq Systems/Garden City will carry out notice of the settlement
and administer the settlement.

The Harvey action was filed first in August 2008.  The Harvey
action was filed under California unfair competition and consumer
fraud laws.

Mr. Finley filed his suit in December of that year.

Ms. Feibel and other lead plaintiffs filed their suit in December
2009 in Rhode Island.

Another similar action was certified against CVS in Massachusetts
in March of this year.

The parties in the suits went to mediation in April with the
current settlement at hand ending all of the claims.

Class members will receive $5.99 as a refunded, in-store voucher.

Messrs. Finley, Harvey, and Ms. Feibel will receive $7,500 each as
class representatives in the suits.

The plaintiffs' legal team will take home $950,000 in fees and

CVS does not admit any liability or fault under the settlement.

Judge Cueto will hear arguments for final approval of the
settlement Oct. 20 at 10 a.m.

Requests for exclusion from the settlement must be filed by class
members by Sept. 16.

Robert Bassett and others represent CVS.

The case is St. Clair case number 08-L-616.

GENERAL NUTRITION: Faces Class Action Over Labor Law Violations
Courthouse News Service reports that a federal class action
accuses General Nutrition Corp. of making employees work off the
clock, and other Labor Law violations.

A copy of the Complaint in Brewer v. General Nutrition
Corporation, Case No. 11-cv-03587 (N.D. Calif.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Michael Hoffman, Esq.
          100 Pine Street, Suite 1550
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Telephone: (415) 362-1111
          E-mail: mhoffman@employment-lawyers.com

GIBSON GUITAR: Sued Over Unpaid "Off the Clock" Work
Courthouse News Service reports that a federal class action claims
Gibson Guitar Corp. makes employees work off the clock.

A copy of the Complaint in Roberts v. Gibson Guitar Corp., Case
No. 11-cv-00697 (M.D. Tenn.) (Trauger, J.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Clinton H. Scott, Esq.
          101 North Highland Avenue
          Jackson, TN 38301
          Telephone: 731-664-1340
          E-mail: cscott@gilbertfirm.com

               - and -

          Michael L. Russell, Esq.
          1616 Westgate Circle, Suite 228
          Brentwood, TN 37027
          Telephone: 615-435-1144
          E-mail: mrussell@gilbertfirm.com

GOLDMAN SACHS: Disputes Sex Discrimination Class Action
Moira Herbst, writing for Reuters, reports that Goldman Sachs
Group Inc. said a recent landmark decision throwing out a class-
action lawsuit against Wal-Mart means it should not face a wide-
ranging case accusing it of systematic bias against women.

The investment bank in court papers said the three women who sued
it last year have highly individual claims that cannot be readily
applied to a wider class of plaintiffs.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court said a gender bias case against
Wal-Mart on behalf of a group believed to exceed 1.5 million
workers could not proceed because the plaintiffs' claims did not
have enough in common to sue as a group.  The plaintiffs allege
that Goldman underpays women and promotes them less often than

A grant of class-action status can result in larger awards and
make it easier for people who otherwise could not sue on their own
to recover.

"The (Wal-Mart) holding has powerful relevance here," Goldman's
lawyers wrote in papers filed on July 21 in the U.S. District
Court in Manhattan where the lawsuit is pending.

"The charge does not mention or allege any class-wide problem
common to any 'similarly-situated women' plaintiff Chen-Oster
seeks to represent.  It does not set forth even one factual
contention supposedly common to her and anyone else," Goldman's
lawyers wrote.

The proposed class action seeks to represent "similarly situated"
current and former female associates, vice presidents and managing
directors employed by the company.  Men at the company "are viewed
more favorably, receive more compensation, and are more likely to
be promoted," the plaintiffs wrote.

Goldman Sachs is accused of violating Title VII of the federal
Civil Rights Act and New York City Human Rights Law.  The women
are seeking back pay, changes to compensation and promotion
practices, punitive damages and attorneys' fees.

The June 20 Supreme Court ruling in Wal-Mart's favor, known as
Dukes et al vs. Wal-Mart, is expected to have a significant impact
on sex discrimination class-actions, because it makes it harder to
win certification of large groups of plaintiffs.

Pending sex-discrimination class actions that could be affected by
the Wal-Mart ruling include cases against Costco Wholesale Corp.,
Toshiba Corp., Cigna Corp. and Bayer.

The Wal-Mart decision asserted that "vague allegations of class-
wide discrimination" are not enough to support a sex bias class
action lawsuit, Goldman's attorneys wrote in the July 21 filing.

The case is Chen-Oster et al vs. Goldman Sachs & Co and The
Goldman Sachs Group Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of
New York, case no. 1:10-cv-06950

GROUPON INC: Faces Class Action Over Coupon Expiration Dates
Dana Andrews, writing for St. Charles Patch, reports that deal-of-
the-day Web site Groupon has declined to comment on a lawsuit
filed in Kane County which alleges that the company's deals
violate Illinois law.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of plaintiff Adam Dremak, claims that
Groupon's coupons are actually gift certificates with expiration
dates and violate the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive
Business Practices Act.

A spokeswoman for Groupon would not comment on the pending
litigation and indicated that the company never comments on
litigation.  She explained that a consumer always has the amount
they paid to redeem with that merchant indefinitely and that if
there is any problem with the merchant, consumers can always go to
Groupon for a refund.

A motion to get class-action certification was filed on behalf of
all Illinois residents who purchased daily deals but did not use
them by their stated expiration dates, according to an attorney
representing the plaintiff.  It seeks a preliminary injunction to
prevent Groupon Inc., from issuing its daily deals with what it
claims are illegal expiration dates.

The Act requires an expiration date of not less than five years,
said Attorney Matthew Herman of the law firm of the St. Charles-
based Foote, Meyers, Mielke & Flowers, who represents the
plaintiff.  Some deals expire after 30 days.

The lawsuit states Mr. Dremak bought a Groupon deal for Nordstrom
Rack that expired five weeks after he bought it.  Mr. Herman said
he would like Groupon to compensate consumers or allow them to use
the daily deals in the time frame that the Act requires.

According to Groupon, if a discounted deal expires and the
consumer, for instance, paid $20 for a $40 deal, the consumer
still has the $20 credit with the merchant.  The $40 promotional
value is what expires.

Groupon's Web site and Frequently Asked Questions Page outlines
Groupon's expiration policy.

Mr. Herman declined to comment on the policy listed on the
company's Web site.

While the complaint against Groupon was initially filed in March,
a press released dated July 20 announced the suit as motions
seeking to advance the case were filed this week.

What's next?

Mr. Herman said he believes Groupon will answer the complaint
sometime this week.

The case is an individual lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Dremak.  The
motion for class certification is requesting the court to certify.

"We also filed [Wednesday] a preliminary junction where we were
asking the court to essentially make Groupon comply with the
Illinois Fraud Act before we do all the discovery and get into the
merits of the case," said Mr. Herman.

HALLIBURTON CO: Continues to Defend Claims Over Macondo Incident
Halliburton Company continues to defend itself from claims over
the Macondo well incident, according to the Company's July 21,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended June 30, 2011.

The semisubmersible drilling rig, Deepwater Horizon, sank on April
22, 2010, after an explosion and fire onboard the rig that began
on April 20, 2010.  The Deepwater Horizon was owned by Transocean
Ltd. and had been drilling the Macondo exploration well in
Mississippi Canyon Block 252 in the Gulf of Mexico for the lease
operator, BP Exploration & Production, Inc., an indirect wholly
owned subsidiary of BP p.l.c.  The Company performed a variety of
services for BP Exploration, including cementing, mud logging,
directional drilling, measurement-while-drilling, and rig data
acquisition services.  Crude oil flowing from the well site spread
across thousands of square miles of the Gulf of Mexico and reached
the United States Gulf Coast.  Numerous attempts at estimating the
volume of oil spilled have been made by various groups, and on
August 2, 2010, the federal government published an estimate that
approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil were discharged from the
well.  Efforts to contain the flow of hydrocarbons from the well
were led by the United States government and by BP p.l.c., BP
Exploration, and their affiliates (collectively, BP).  The flow of
hydrocarbons from the well ceased on July 15, 2010, and the well
was permanently capped on September 19, 2010.  There were eleven
fatalities and a number of injuries as a result of the Macondo
well incident.

Since April 21, 2010, plaintiffs have been filing lawsuits
relating to the Macondo well incident.  Generally, those lawsuits
allege either (1) damages arising from the oil spill pollution and
contamination (e.g., diminution of property value, lost tax
revenue, lost business revenue, lost tourist dollars, inability to
engage in recreational or commercial activities) or (2) wrongful
death or personal injuries.  To date, the Company has been named
along with other unaffiliated defendants in more than 400
complaints, most of which are alleged class actions, involving
pollution damage claims and at least 40 personal injury lawsuits
involving seven decedents and at least 59 allegedly injured
persons who were on the drilling rig at the time of the incident.
Another six lawsuits naming the Company and others relate to
alleged personal injuries sustained by those responding to the
explosion and oil spill.  Plaintiffs originally filed the lawsuits
in federal and state courts throughout the United States,
including Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and
Virginia.  Except for certain lawsuits not yet consolidated
(including one lawsuit that is proceeding in Louisiana state
court, nine lawsuits that are pending in Delaware federal court,
two lawsuits that are pending in Texas federal court, and two
lawsuits that are proceeding in Texas state court), the Judicial
Panel on Multi-District Litigation ordered all of the lawsuits
against the Company consolidated in a multi-district litigation
(MDL) proceeding before Judge Carl Barbier in the U.S. Eastern
District of Louisiana.  The pollution complaints generally allege,
among other things, negligence and gross negligence, property
damages, taking of protected species, and potential economic
losses as a result of environmental pollution and generally seek
awards of unspecified economic, compensatory, and punitive
damages, as well as injunctive relief.  Plaintiffs in these
pollution cases have brought lawsuit under various legal
provisions, including the The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), The
Clean Water Act (CWA), The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918
(MBTA), the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), the Outer
Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers
Compensation Act, general maritime law, state common law, and
various state environmental and products liability statutes.

Furthermore, the pollution complaints include lawsuits brought
against the Company by governmental entities, including the State
of Alabama, the State of Louisiana, Plaquemines Parish, the City
of Greenville, and three Mexican states.  The wrongful death and
other personal injury complaints generally allege negligence and
gross negligence and seek awards of compensatory damages,
including unspecified economic damages and punitive damages.  The
Company has retained counsel and are investigating and evaluating
the claims, the theories of recovery, damages asserted, and the
Company's respective defenses to all of these claims.

Judge Barbier is also presiding over a separate proceeding filed
by Transocean under the Limitation of Liability Act (Limitation
Action).  In the Limitation Action, Transocean seeks to limit its
liability for claims arising out of the Macondo well incident to
the value of the rig and its freight.  Although the Limitation
Action is not consolidated in the MDL, to this point the judge is
effectively treating the two proceedings as associated cases.  On
February 18, 2011, Transocean tendered the Company, along with all
other defendants, into the Limitation Action.  As a result of the
tender, the Company and all other defendants will be treated as
direct defendants to the plaintiffs' claims as if the plaintiffs
had sued each of the Company and the other defendants directly.
In the Limitation Action, the judge intends to determine the
allocation of liability among all defendants in the hundreds of
lawsuits associated with the Macondo well incident, including
those in the MDL proceeding, that are pending in his court.
Specifically, the judge will determine the liability, limitation,
exoneration and fault allocation with regard to all of the
defendants in a trial, which may occur in several phases, that is
set to begin in the first quarter 2012.  The Company does not
believe, however, that a single apportionment of liability in the
Limitation Action is properly applied to the hundreds of lawsuits
pending in the MDL proceeding.  Damages for the cases tried in the
first quarter 2012, including punitive damages, are currently
scheduled to be tried in a later phase of the Limitation Action.
Under ordinary MDL procedures, such cases would, unless waived by
the respective parties, be tried in the courts from which they
were transferred into the MDL.  It remains unclear, however, what
impact the overlay of the Limitation Action will have on where
these matters are tried.  Document discovery and depositions among
the parties to the MDL are underway.

In April and May 2011, certain defendants in the proceedings filed
numerous cross claims and third party claims against certain other
defendants.  BP Exploration and BP America Production Company
filed claims against the Company seeking subrogation and
contribution, including with respect to liabilities under the OPA,
and alleging negligence, gross negligence, fraudulent conduct, and
fraudulent concealment.  Transocean filed claims against the
Company seeking indemnification, and subrogation and contribution,
including with respect to liabilities under the OPA and for the
total loss of the Deepwater Horizon, and alleging comparative
fault and breach of warranty of workmanlike performance. Anadarko
filed claims against the Company seeking tort indemnity and
contribution, and alleging negligence, gross negligence and
willful misconduct, and MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC (MOEX), who has an
approximate 10% interest in the Macondo well, filed a claim
against the Company alleging negligence.  Cameron International
Corporation (Cameron) (the manufacturer and designer of the
blowout preventer), M-I Swaco (provider of drilling fluids and
services, among other things), Weatherford U.S. L.P. and
Weatherford International, Inc. (together, Weatherford) (providers
of casing components, including float equipment and centralizers,
and services), and Dril-Quip, Inc. (Dril-Quip) (provider of
wellhead systems), each filed claims against the Company seeking
indemnification and contribution, including with respect to
liabilities under the OPA in the case of Cameron, and alleging
negligence.  Additional civil lawsuits may be filed against the
Company.  In addition to the claims against the Company, generally
the defendants in the proceedings filed claims, including for
liabilities under the OPA and other claims similar to those
previously filed cases, against other defendants.  BP has since
announced that it has settled those claims between it and each of
Weatherford and MOEX.

In April 2011, the Company filed claims against BP Exploration, BP
p.l.c. and BP America Production Company (BP Defendants), M-I
Swaco, Cameron, Anadarko, MOEX, Weatherford, Dril-Quip, and
numerous entities involved in the post-blowout remediation and
response efforts, in each case seeking contribution and
indemnification and alleging negligence.  The Company's claims
also alleged gross negligence and willful misconduct on the part
of the BP Defendants, Anadarko, and Weatherford.  The Company also
filed claims against M-I Swaco and Weatherford for contractual
indemnification, and against Cameron, Weatherford and Dril-Quip
for strict products liability.  The Company filed its answer to
Transocean's Limitation petition denying Transocean's right to
limit its liability, denying all claims and responsibility for the
incident, seeking contribution and indemnification, and alleging
negligence and gross negligence.

The Company says it intends to vigorously defend any litigation,
fines, and/or penalties relating to the Macondo well incident.
The Company has incurred and expects to continue to incur
significant legal fees and costs, some of which the Company
expects to be covered by indemnity or insurance, as a result of
the numerous investigations and lawsuits relating to the incident.

ILLINOIS: Transgender Plaintiffs Get Favorable Ruling
Rex W. Huppke, writing for Chicago Tribune, reports that a Cook
County Circuit Court judge has ordered that the three lead
plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the state can change
the gender on their birth certificates even though they have not
had genital surgeries.

Judge Michael Hyman stayed the lawsuit -- which contests the
state's policy of requiring transgender people to have "genital
reformation surgery" before they can change the gender on their
birth certificates -- until September, when a legislative
committee will consider a proposed rule that could do away with
the genital surgery requirement.

"We're not happy about the stay," said John Knight, director of
the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Project at the ACLU of
Illinois.  "We think it's really just more delay, but the judge
has allowed the state to have that time."

Mr. Knight said that even if the new regulations are approved, the
ACLU will continue to ask for a stronger "enforceable agreement
with the state" that will guarantee transgender Illinoisans cannot
be denied a birth certificate gender change because they have had
not had genital surgery.

The three lead plaintiffs -- Lauren Grey, Victor Williams and
Nicholas Guarino -- will all have their birth certificates changed
to reflect their gender identities.

The lawsuit claims that for years, the state would change people's
gender on their birth certificates even if they had not had any
form of genital surgery, but that the policy seemed to change "in
or about 2005."

Many medical experts who work with people in the transgender
community say that gender is more a factor of what a person
identifies with than the person's anatomy.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Court Dismisses Class Action
Jessica M. Karmasek, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that a
federal court dismissed a case against pharmaceutical giant
Johnson & Johnson for allegedly concealing quality control
problems and manufacturing defects.

The class action represents a consolidation of individual cases
filed in various courts, which were transferred to the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The case arises out of purported quality-control issues affecting
certain over-the-counter medications manufactured by Johnson &
Johnson's consumer health care division, McNeil Consumer

The plaintiffs alleged that Johnson & Johnson and McNeil, along
with certain executives, board members and third-party
contractors, engaged in a conspiracy to conceal systemic quality
control problems and manufacturing defects that began as early as
2008 and affected various adult and children's medications.  Many
of the medications were manufactured at McNeil's facility in Fort
Washington, Pa.

The plaintiffs said because of the company's scheme -- and relying
on Johnson & Johnson's reputation for safe and effective
medications -- they purchased the McNeil products at higher prices
than they were worth.

The plaintiffs sought to recover their out-of-pocket payments for
the products in question and also sought damages for the alleged
conspiracy to conceal the quality control problems.

Johnson & Johnson, McNeil and the third-party contractors filed
motions to dismiss.

The court held oral arguments on the motions on June 29.

U.S. District Judge Mary A. McLaughlin, in the court's July 14
memorandum, granted the company's motions, dismissing the
plaintiffs' claims in their entirety for lack of standing.

Standing is ordinarily a threshold issue for any case, the court
said.  "A plaintiff must allege a distinct and palpable injury to
himself, even if it is an injury shared by a large class of other
possible litigants."

Judge McLaughlin said the consolidated amended complaint, or CAC,
was "deficient" insofar as the plaintiffs did not allege which
particular products they purchased.

"Because the plaintiffs do not identify which products were
purchased, it is impossible to match the many incidents outlined
in the CAC with the specific drugs that fall under the Subject
Products category," she wrote for the court.

In addition, the plaintiffs did not allege how the unspecified
products they purchased were defective.  Instead, they allege only
that each product suffered from "serious problems," Judge
McLaughlin said.

Even assuming that the "serious problems" encompass allegations of
specific product recalls and FDA citations, the court said the
plaintiffs fail to allege any personal harm arising therefrom.

"In the absence of particularized harm, the plaintiffs' injuries
are abstract and hypothetical, rather than distinct and palpable,"
it wrote.

The plaintiffs, the court continued, also do not allege
individualized injuries but rely entirely on injuries suffered by
non-plaintiff class members.

"As a consequence, the plaintiffs have failed to establish that a
single named plaintiff suffered any of the many injuries
identified by the plaintiffs," Judge McLaughlin wrote.

All claims against the third-party contractor defendants --
Carolina Logistics Services LLC, Carolina Supply Chain Services
LLC, WIS International and Inmar Inc. -- were dismissed with

All claims against Johnson & Johnson and McNeil were dismissed
without prejudice.

The plaintiffs, the court said, may file an amended complaint
within 30 days of its order.

LOCKHEED MARTIN: Accused in N.Y. Suit of Misleading Shareholders
Courthouse News Service reports that shareholders claim in a
federal class action filed in Manhattan that Lockheed Martin
inflated its share price through false and misleading statements
from April 21 to July 21, 2009.

OPPENHEIMER CHAMPION: Aug. 3 Settlement Opt Out Deadline Set
Stoltmann Law Offices is warning victims of the Oppenheimer
Champion Income Fund and the Oppenheimer Core Bond Fund that the
class action opt out date is August 31, 2011.  If investors who
sustained losses in the Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund and
Oppenheimer Core Bond Fund do not affirmatively opt out of the
class action lawsuit, they will not be able to pursue FINRA
arbitration claims or lawsuits against Oppenheimer or the
brokerage firms who recommended the Fund.

According to Andrew Stoltmann: "If a Champion Income or Core Bond
Fund victim is a member of the Class and wants to retain the right
to sue or to continue to sue Oppenheimer and other related parties
like brokerage firms, then they must take steps to get out of the
Class.  This is called excluding yourself and is sometimes
referred to as 'opting out' of the Class.  In order to properly
exclude yourself, the investors must send in a written exclusion
to class counsel and this must be postmarked no later than
August 31, 2011.  More information on how to properly opt out can
be found at www.OppenheimerChampionSettlement.com."

Mr. Stoltmann also states: "If investors in the Funds do nothing,
they remain a member of the Class.  If certain conditions are met
and the settlement becomes effective, the Claims Administrator
will send the class members a check for the settlement amount.  It
appears as though the amount will be approximately three cents on
the dollar for the Champion Fund and twelve cents on the dollar
for the Core Bond Fund.  Unfortunately, the investor will not be
able to bring a lawsuit or action of any kind, including
arbitration or even continue with a lawsuit of any kind if they
fail to opt out."

According to Mr. Stoltmann: "We encourage victims to contact
Stoltmann Law Offices to discuss whether FINRA arbitration claims
against the brokerage firms who recommended the funds or lawsuits
directly against Oppenheimer make more sense in order to maximize
recovery prospects.  We can assist in the opt out process for
clients of our firm."

Stoltmann Law Offices is currently representing approximately 80
victims of the Oppenheimer Champion Income and Core Bond Funds.
The arbitration actions and lawsuits allege fraud, deceptive
practices, negligence and misrepresentations and omissions related
to the Fund's concentration in highly speculative derivative
tranches, credit default swaps, total return swaps and other high
risk derivatives.

According to Mr. Stoltmann, "The Champion Income Fund was
concentrated in extraordinarily speculative derivatives and other
high risk investments.  The Fund's marketing material, and even
the prospectus, assured investors the fund would be less risky
than the typical high income fund.  As late as 2008, the
prospectus stated 'In selecting securities for the Fund, the
overall strategy is to build a broadly diversified portfolio to
help moderate the special risks of investing in high-yield debt
instruments. . ..  The Fund is intended to be a long-term
investment and may be appropriate as a part of a retirement plan
portfolio.' Given the concentration in credit default swaps and
other high risk derivatives, the Fund was not as it was
represented to be.  Thousands of investors' retirement accounts
have been decimated."

According to the arbitration claims and lawsuits, the Champion
Income Fund took a massive bet in high risk derivatives in the
form of mortgage backed securities, total return swaps and credit
default swaps.  Total-return swaps are highly illiquid,
speculative and complex agreements between parties to exchange
cash flows in the future based on how a set of securities perform.
Credit default swaps are similar to insurance contracts that
protect investors against bond and loan defaults.  Specifically,
the Fund took a massive gamble that top-rated commercial mortgage-
backed securities would rally in 2008.

According to Mr. Stoltmann, "Derivatives have been described by
Warren Buffet as financial weapons of mass destruction.
Derivatives have brought down Orange County, California, Barings
Bank, and multiple other bond funds like the Piper Jaffray
Institutional Government Income Portfolio in 1993.  The SEC and
FINRA have repeatedly warned financial institutions about
concentrating mutual funds in high risk, speculative derivatives.
Yet Oppenheimer thumbed its nose at these warnings and the results
for thousands of retirees in Oppenheimer mutual funds have been a
financial cataclysm."

Through October of 2008, according to Yahoo Finance, the
Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund A Share was ranked 550 out of 562
high income funds.  Of the 12 funds that performed worse, almost
half were different share types of the Champion Income Fund.
According to the statement of claims and lawsuits, the Champion
Income Fund lost approximately 80% of its value during 2008, with
nearly all of those losses occurring in the last 6 months of 2008.
The fund lost a stunning 55% of its value in November 2008 alone.

More information is available at:


          - or -


CONTACT: Andrew Stoltmann, Esq.
         Stoltmann Law Offices
         Telephone: 312-332-4200
         Cellphone: 312-545-5711
         10 S. LaSalle
         35th Floor
         Chicago, IL 60603

POPULAR INC: November 2 Class Action Settlement Hearing Set
The Law Firms of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP and Bernstein
Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP disseminated a notice of Proposed
Settlement of Class Action against Popular, Inc.

RUSSELL HOFF, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly



POPULAR, INC., et al.,


Civil Action No. 3:09-cv-01428-GAG



To: All persons and entities who purchased or acquired Popular,
Inc. common stock and/or 8.25% non-cumulative monthly income
preferred stock series B during the time period between
January 24, 2008 and February 19, 2009, inclusive, and were
injured thereby.

Please read this notice carefully.  Your rights will be affected
by a Class Action lawsuit pending in this Court.

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED, pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure and an Order of the United States District
Court for the District of Puerto Rico: (i) of the pendency of the
above-captioned action as a class action on behalf of the persons
and entities described above, except for certain persons and
entities who are excluded from the Class by definition; and (ii)
that a settlement of the Action for $37,500,000 in cash has been
proposed by the settling parties.  A hearing will be held on
November 2, 2011, at 9:00 a.m., before the Honorable Gustavo A.
Gelpi, at the Clemente Ruiz-Nazario U.S. Courthouse & Frederico
Degetau Federal Building, 150 Carlos Chardon Avenue, Hato Rey,
Puerto Rico, to determine, among other things: (i) whether the
proposed Settlement should be approved by the Court as fair,
reasonable, and adequate; (ii) whether the Action should be
dismissed with prejudice as to the Settling Defendants and the
Released Claims fully, finally, and forever released,
relinquished, and discharged as against the Settling Defendants
and the other Released Persons; (iii) whether the proposed Plan of
Allocation should be approved as fair and reasonable; and (iv)
whether Co-Lead Counsel's application for an award of attorneys'
fees and expenses should be granted.

yet received the full printed Notice of (I) Pendency and Proposed
Settlement of Class Action; (II) Settlement Hearing; and (III)
Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Expenses and Proof of Claim and
Release form, you may obtain copies of these documents by
contacting the Claims Administrator: Popular Securities
Litigation, c/o Epiq Systems, P.O. Box 3145, Portland, OR 97208-
3145, 1-877-846-5276.

Copies of the Notice and Claim Form may also be downloaded from
the Web site maintained for the Settlement at

If you are a member of the Class, in order to be eligible to share
in the distribution of the Net Settlement Fund, you must submit a
Claim Form postmarked no later than October 11, 2011.  If you are
a member of the Class and do not submit a proper Claim Form, you
will not share in the distribution of the Net Settlement Fund but
you will nevertheless be bound by any judgment entered by the
Court in the Action.  To exclude yourself from the Class, you must
submit a written request for exclusion such that it is received no
later than October 11, 2011, in accordance with the instructions
set forth in the Notice.  Any objections to the proposed
Settlement, the Plan of Allocation and/or the application for an
award of attorneys' fees and expenses must be filed with the Court
and delivered to counsel for the settling parties as set forth in
the Notice such that they are received no later than October 11,
2011, in accordance with the instructions set forth in the Notice.
If you are a member of the Class and do not exclude yourself from
the Class, you will be bound by any judgment entered by the Court
in the Action.

REGARDING THIS NOTICE.  Inquiries, other than requests for the
Notice and Claim Form, may be made to Co-Lead Counsel: Ellen
Gusikoff Stewart, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, 655 West
Broadway, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101 and Salvatore J.
Graziano, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, 1285 Avenue
of the Americas, New York, NY 10019.




POWERCOR: Black Saturday Class Action Mediation Begins
ABC News reports that mediation was set to start on July 25 in a
legal challenge by Horsham residents affected by the Black
Saturday bushfires, against electricity company Powercor.

About 300 people, who lost property in the 2009 Remlaw fire, are
involved in the class action against the power company.

The Bushfires Royal Commission heard the fire began when a wire
came free from a 47-year-old power pole and struck the ground.

Retired Supreme Court judge Allan McDonald will oversee the

ROSS STORES: Recalls 1,200 Acacia Chairs Due to Fall Hazard
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Ross Stores Inc., of Pleasanton, California, announced a voluntary
recall of about 1,200 Acacia chairs.  Consumers should stop using
recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is
illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer

The chair can collapse when weight is placed on it, posing a fall
hazard to consumers.

Ross has received five reports of the chair collapsing.  Four
minor injuries were reported.

The recalled chairs have a natural finish made of acacia wood with
SKU number 400058432585 or 400058432608 printed on the price tag.
The price tag is white and located on the front of the seat's
chair.  There are no other markings on the chair.  A picture of
the recalled products is available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in Vietnam and sold
exclusively at Ross Stores nationwide between March 2011 and May
2011 for about $40.

Consumers should immediately stop using these chairs and return
them to any Ross Store for a full refund.  For additional
information, contact Ross at (877) 455-7677 anytime or visit the
Ross Stores' Web site at http://www.rossstores.com/

THOMAS JEFFERSON: Files Response to Class Action
Karen Sloan, writing for The National Law Journal, reports that
the Thomas Jefferson School of Law has filed its response to a
class action brought in May by a 2008 graduate alleging that the
school misrepresented its graduate employment statistics.
Essentially, it argued that the graduate hadn't done enough
research before enrolling.

Plaintiff Anna Alaburda graduated with honors from the school
three years ago, but has been unable to land a steady law job
since, according to the initial complaint.  It says that she was
lured to the school by the U.S. News law school rankings that
reported that 80% of students had found jobs within nine months
after graduating.  That figure included all recent graduates who
were in part-time or non-legal jobs, which is how law schools
calculate their "employed after nine months" figures for the
American Bar Association and U.S. News, the complaint said.

Thomas Jefferson filed a demurrer and a motion to strike,
essentially arguing that its job statistics were not falsified and
that the school has no control over U.S. News.  The school also
argued that large portions of the complaint relating to the wider
practice of how law schools report employment data are irrelevant
to the charge that Thomas Jefferson lied about its jobs track

"Plaintiff does not plead any specifics to [Thomas Jefferson's]
factual data being false - because it wasn't," according to the
demurrer filed on July 18 in Dan Diego County, Calif., Superior
Court.  "Instead, she pleads that she relied exclusively or
primarily on the data in a summary chart in a popular magazine,
misunderstood it, made no further inquiries, and then spent tens
of thousands of dollars on her legal education."

Ms. Alaburda's complaint estimated that there are more than 2,300
potential members of the class, based on the number of students
who attended the school during the statutory period.  It alleged
fraud and violations of California's Unfair Competition Law and
False Advertising Act.  It originally included a charge of
violating the state Consumer Legal Remedies Act, but the complaint
has since been amended to drop that claim.

The suit seeks compensatory damages for the class of more than $50

TICKET RESERVE: Settles Super Bowl Ticket Fraud Class Action
Alfred Branch Jr., writing for TicketNews, reports that The Ticket
Reserve, Inc., the parent company of ticket options seller
FirstDIBZ, has reached a settlement with 752 members of a class
action lawsuit over the massive fraud over Super Bowl tickets that
felled the company more than two years ago.

TTR has agreed to pay a total of $529,920.74 under the terms of
the settlement reached this week, which will reimburse the class
members for a percentage of their online accounts where their
money had been frozen since 2009 by the company.  Included in that
settlement figure are legal fees and other minor costs, so the
pool of money that will be divided among the class members is just
under $434,000.

According to Pennsylvania attorney Andrew Sciolla, the lawyer for
the plaintiffs, the class members will receive between 50% and 62%
of their money, which is expected to be mailed out in early to
mid-December.  The exact percentage amount will be determined by a
formula based on the number of class members who return claim

Mr. Sciolla is preparing to begin contacting the class members
about the settlement, and once that begins those members are
required to fill out the claim form to receive the payment.  The
class is made up of FirstDIBZ customers who had requested
withdrawals from their accounts that TTR could not provide due to
the fraud.

"[The settlement is] not all that we had hoped to get, but
customers have been waiting a long time for their money,"
Mr. Sciolla told TicketNews.  "The settlement is a percentage of
their [online] wallet funds, because the company informed us that
it could not afford to meet all the obligations and they would
have filed for bankruptcy and no one would have received

Mr. Sciolla said that several class members he has spoken to are
generally pleased by the settlement.  "Many are happy to get as
much money as they can, because a lot of them had written it off
as a bad investment.  They understand that getting something is
better than getting nothing.

"The ones who might not be happy, who wanted all of their money
back and damages, I hope that their disappointment will lessen
over time."

The class action lawsuit was filed in the spring of 2009 after
hundreds of customers bought what turned out to be fraudulent
"dibz" that would have allowed them to buy Super Bowl and NFL
playoff tickets at face value.  The tickets never existed and the
fraud built on itself with buyers then reselling the dibz they had
purchased.  FirstDIBZ eventually had to shut down because it could
not keep up with the demand caused by the sale and resale of the
dibz; currently, TTR does not operate FirstDIBZ, but it licenses
its platform to sporting events that want to operate ticket
futures sites.

While others have launched similar options sites, at least one
other major one was also shut down.  The site yoonew, while not a
victim of a similar type of fraud, was forced to close in 2010
because it, too, could not meet its financial obligations.

Under the terms of the FirstDIBZ settlement, class members will
have the option of receiving the money, withdrawing from the class
or rejecting the settlement, but regardless of which option they
to take, class members must return the claim form they will be
issued in the coming weeks, according to Mr. Sciolla.

VARIAN SEMICONDUCTOR: Being Sold for Too Little, Suit Claims
Courthouse News Service reports that shareholders say Varian
Semiconductor is selling itself too cheaply through an unfair
process to Applied Materials, for $4.9 billion or $63 per share.

A copy of the Complaint in Louisiana Municipal Police Employees
Retirement System v. Dickerson, et al., Case No. 11-cv-11294
(D. Mass.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Terence K. Ankner, Esq.
          The Berkeley Building
          200 Berkeley Street, 16th Floor
          Boston, MA 02116
          Telephone: (617) 859-9999

               - and -

          Brian J. Robbins, Esq.
          Stephen J. Oddo, Esq.
          Arshan Amiri, Esq.
          Lauren E. Rosner, Esq.
          600 B Street, Suite 1900
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 525-3990
          E-mail: brobbins@robbinsumeda.com

               - and -

          Paul M. Brannon, Esq.
          BRANNON LAW FIRM, L.L.C.
          3500 North Hullen Street
          Metairie, LA 70002
          Telephone: (504) 456-8696
          E-mail: PMB@BrannonLawFirm.com

               - and -

          Eric J. O'Bell, Esq.
          3500 North Hullen Street
          Metairie, LA 70002
          Telephone: (504) 456-8600

YONGYE INT'L: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A. on July 22 disclosed that it has filed a
class action lawsuit on behalf of investors who purchased the
common stock of Yongye International, Inc., during the period from
August 11, 2010, through May 18, 2011, inclusive, and is seeking
to recover investors' damages from violations of federal
securities laws.

To join the Yongye class action, visit the Rosen Law Firm's
Web site at http://www.rosenlegal.comor call Phillip Kim, Esq.,
toll-free, at 866-767-3653; you may also e-mail
pkim@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.  The case
filed by the Rosen Law Firm is pending the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York.


The Complaint asserts violations of the federal securities laws
against Yongye and its officers and directors for issuing false
and misleading information to investors about the financial and
business condition of the Company.  The Complaint alleges that (a)
Yongye's financial results as reported to the SEC were
inconsistent with the Company's ability to produce the tonnage
reported as shipments of sales; (b) Yongye's reported financial
statements were grossly inflated by including revenue it had not
earned; and (c) Yongye's business was not growing at the rate
represented by defendants.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no
later than July 25, 2011.  A lead plaintiff is a representative
party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the
litigation.  If you wish to join the litigation, or to discuss
your rights or interests regarding this class action, please
contact Phillip Kim, Esq. of The Rosen Law Firm, toll-free, at
866-767-3653, or via e-mail at pkim@rosenlegal.com

You may also visit the firm's Web site at

The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe,
concentrating its practice in securities class actions and
shareholder derivative litigation.

CONTACT: Laurence Rosen, Esq.
         Phillip Kim, Esq.
         The Rosen Law Firm P.A.
         275 Madison Avenue, 34th Floor
         New York, NY 10016
         Telephone: (212) 686-1060
         Weekends Telephone: (917) 797-4425
         Toll Free: 1-866--767-3653
         E-mail: lrosen@rosenlegal.com
         Web site: http://www.rosenlegal.com

* Finra Proposal May Trigger Broker Class Actions
Dan Jamieson, writing for InvestmentNews, reports that the
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. will be proposing a
rule change that might help brokers pursue class action employment

Finra wants to ban from its arbitration forums so-called
"collective action" claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards
Act or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

That would make it easer to pursue court claims, according to
plaintiff's attorneys who filed the suits.

The Finra board earlier authorized its staff to file a proposed
rule change with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The SEC
would have to approve the proposal.

The rule change is being sought after federal courts last fall,
and again in February of this year, ordered that collective-action
wage-and-hour cases be heard in Finra arbitrations.

Finra has maintained that these types of cases, as well as class
actions, are not allowed in its dispute resolution system.
However, its rules mention class actions only.

Collective actions require covered plaintiffs to opt into the
lawsuit, whereas class actions require an opt-out.

The actions by judges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York effectively shut out federal courts as a
venue for bringing collective actions under the FLSA, said
Michael Palmer, an attorney at Joseph Herzfeld Hester &
Kirschenbaum LLP -- mpalmer@jhllp.com -- who represented several
broker plaintiffs in the lawsuits.

The cases, Hugo Gomez et al. v. Brill Securities Inc., and Silva
Alexander Velez v. PHD Capital Advisory Services LLC, had to be
refiled in New York state court stripped of their FLSA claims,
Mr. Palmer said.

A rule change by Finra would help brokers pursue wage-and-hour
claims, Mr. Palmer said.

"It opens up the federal courts to us again" to bring FLSA claims,
he said, referring to where most of those cases are heard.

In the past, in banning class actions from the Finra arbitration
system, Finra and the SEC have argued that such cases are better
handled by courts.

Barry Temkin, a lawyer at Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass --
btemkin@moundcotton.com -- who represented Brill Securities,
declined to comment.

Emily Hayes, an attorney at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman &
Dicker LLP -- emily.hayes@wilsonelser.com -- who represented PHD
Capital, did not return calls.

Several years ago, all the major brokerage firms settled broker
suits over alleged violation of wage-and-hour laws, as well as
overtime violations.  As a result, firms adjusted their expense-
sharing policies and compensation plans, and some brokers received


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania,
USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland USA.  Leah
Felisilda, Noemi Irene A. Adala, Joy A. Agravante, Julie Anne
Lopez, Christopher Patalinghug, Frauline Abangan and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2011.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.

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