Civil Procedure Keyed to Cound
Lampf, Pleva, Lipkind, Prupis & Petigrow v. Gilbertson
Plaintiffs Gilbertson and others, purchased units in partnerships that purchased and leased computer hardware mainly for certain income tax benefits. Defendants Lampf, Pleva, Lipkind, Prupis & Petigrow were a law firm that organized the partnerships and gave opinions regarding the tax consequences of investing in the partnership. The partnerships failed and in 1982 and 1983, Plaintiffs received notice from the IRS that the partnerships were being investigated. Plaintiffs’ tax benefits were disallowed due to overvaluation of the partnerships’ assets. Plaintiffs filed complaints against Defendants in 1986 and 1987 in federal court in the District of Oregon, alleging that Defendants induced Plaintiffs to invest in the partnerships through misrepresentations in its offering memoranda. Plaintiffs alleged violations of Section 10(b) of the Act and SEC Rule 10b-5. Plaintiffs assert that they only learned of the alleged misrepresentations in 1985, after the tax benefits were disallowed. The District Court granted summary judgment on the grounds that the complaints were not timely filed. The Court applied the Oregon two-year statute of limitations for fraud claims to the cases at issue. The Court found that reports given to Plaintiffs in 1982 put them on notice of the possibility of fraud. Certain fiscal reports and installing a partner associated with Defendants was not fraudulent concealment sufficient to toll the statute of limitations. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment finding factual issues remained as to whether Plaintiffs were put on notice of the fraud. The Court of Appeals implicitly recognized that the Oregon two-year statute of limitations applied, as opposed to a federal limitations period. Defendants appealed.
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