United States District Court, S.D. New York
May 26, 2004.
IN RE AOL TIME WARNER, INC. SHAREHOLDER LITIGATION; THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO: LAURENCE NATHANSON, Derivatively on Behalf of Nominal Defendant TIME WARNER, INC., Plaintiffs, -against- STEPHEN M. CASE, JAMES L. BARKSDALE, STEPHEN F. BOLLENBACH, FRANK J. CAULFIELD, MILES R. GILBURNE, CARLA A. HILLS, REUBEN MARK, MICHAEL A. MILES, KENNETH J. NOVACK, RICHARD D. PARSONS, ROBERT W. PITTMAN, FRANKLIN D. RAINES, R. E. TURNER, FRANCIS T. VINCENT, JR., DANIEL F. AKERSON, GEORGE VRADENBURG, MAYO S. STUNTZ AND J. MICHAEL KELLY, Defendants, and TIME WARNER, INC., Nominal Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: SHIRLEY KRAM, Senior District Judge
OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Laurence Nathanson moves the Court to modify Unopposed
Pre-Trial Order No. 1, entered on March 26, 2003. Specifically, Nathanson
asks the Court to appoint the law firm of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller
& Shah, LLC ("SFMS") as co-lead counsel in the "no demand"
shareholder derivative cases. Nathanson's motion is DENIED. The motion presents no objection to the
status of these proceedings, nor does it raise any issue regarding the
adequacy of Emerson Poynter as Lead Counsel. Instead, Nathanson's counsel
seems to argue that, with respect to lead attorneys, "the more the
merrier." The Court disagrees, as there is no reason to believe that the
appointment of additional lead counsel will maximize the benefits to
shareholders in these actions.
While the Court will not appoint SFMS co-lead counsel,*fn1 the Court
does believe that bifurcation of the shareholder derivative claims into
"demand" and "no demand" cases, due to the distinct factual and legal
issues involved, is appropriate. Accordingly, Pre-Trial Order No. 2,
which is attached, will be entered.