b'Introduction2020 certainly was an unprecedented year in many filed by shareholders seeking to recover investment ways. Think back to March 2020, when the COVID-19losses after a companys stock price drops following pandemic caused the world to come to a grinding halt.the disclosure of a setback or problem experienced In mid-March, the United States abruptly went into lock- by the company with respect to its drugs or products, down as coronavirus cases began to spike; a nationalsuch as negative feedback from or action by FDA, emergency was declared, travel bans and gatheringclinical trial delays or negative results, suspensions or restrictions were imposed, schools, workplaces, andterminations, adverse events experienced by patients, restaurants were closed, and professional and collegeor manufacturing problems. Plaintiffs typically assert sports seasons were cancelled. The United States andclaims under Sections 10(b), 20(a) and Rule 10b-5 of the the world came to recognize COVID-19 as a potentiallySecurities Exchange Act of 1934 (the 1934 Act) based unprecedented global catastrophe, a realization thatupon allegedly false and misleading statements or nearly broke the financial markets.1 On March 16,omissions made by the company and its officers, and, 2020, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged near- if the alleged misstatements or omissions are made in ly 13 percent (3,000 points)the largest one-day dropconnection with a securities offering, under Sections 11, in United States historywhile the S&P 500 plummet- 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the 1933 ed 12 percent, its worst day since 1987. Meanwhile, asAct).coronavirus fears ripped through Wall Street, the VIX,Despite the turmoil and disruption of 2020, plaintiffs a gauge of stock market volatility, spiked 43%, breaking the record set at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.2lawyers and courts appear to have adapted readily to Almost a year later, some semblance of normalcy hasthe new normal of 2020, as plaintiffs firms continued returned in certain respects and the U.S. and globalto file securities class actions, albeit at lower rates than markets have generally recoveredand indeed, per- in prior years, and courts continued to issue detailed, formed well particularly for the life sciences and health- substantive decision in these actions. Specifically, as care industrystarting in April 2020, but the world isdetailed in our prior Year in Review publications, the still very much grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. number of securities class actions filed nationally has steadily grown over the last several years, reaching an It is against this extraordinary backdrop that we pres- all-time record level (427 actions) in 2019. In 2020, the ent our fifth annual Securities Litigation Year in Reviewnumber of class action filings in state and federal courts publication, in which we analyze data for securitiesfell below 400to 334 actions (a 22% decline from class actions filed nationally against publicly traded2019)for the first time since 2016, but that figure is pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, andstill far higher than the 1997-2019 average.3 Core class healthcare product and services companies (together,action filingsfilings excluding M&A-related filingslife sciences and healthcare companies) and summa- fell 12% to 234 in 2020.4 As in prior years, three firms rize important decisions issued by courts in 2020 in keywere responsible for the majority of class action filings jurisdictions in these cases. These cases are typicallyin 2020, but complaints first filed by these three law 1 Justin Baer, The Day Coronavirus Nearly Broke the Financial Markets, The Wall Street Journal (May 20, 2020), https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-day-coronavirus-nearly-broke-the-financial-markets-11589982288.2 CNN, Market Volatility Spikes to Record High, Taking Out 2008 Crisis Peak (Mar. 16, 2020), available at https://www.cnn.com/business/live-news/stock-market-news-today-031620/index.html; CNBC, S&P Fell More Than 11 CNBC, Stock Market Live Monday: Dow Drops 13%, Trump Says Recession Possible, Trading Halted At Open (Mar. 16, 2020), available at https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/stock-market-today-live.html.3Cornerstone Research, Securities Class Action Filings 2020 Year in Review (the Cornerstone Report), available at https://www.corner-stone.com/Publications/Reports/Securities-Class-Action-Filings-2020-Year-in-Review.pdf.4 Id.4'