The burden of proof on private plaintiffs in civil litigation is actually higher than it is on the government.
Don’t take my word for it. A New York judge has written it all down.
“We recognize that it might be unexpected that we are dismissing a substantial portion of plaintiffs’ claims, given that several of the defendants here have already paid penalties to government regulatory agencies reaching into the billions of dollars,” Buchwald wrote. “There are many requirements that private plaintiffs must satisfy but which government agencies need not.”
Explaining her decision to dismiss the claims after the regulatory settlements, Buchwald said private cases must be“examined closely” to ensure plaintiffs are “properly entitled to recover and that the suit is, in fact, serving the public purposes.”
“The broad public interests behind the statutes invoked here, such as integrity of the markets and competition, are being addressed by ongoing governmental enforcement,” she said.
Not that I have any particular fondness for the Plaintiffs in the action, who are largely other shady Wall Street outfits like Schwab.
But to see a judge actually rule in the open that lawsuits will be subject to different standards and more scrutiny depending on who the litigants are? It’s a gift, I suppose. The truth seeps out when no one is looking.