Joel C. Haims, co–chair of Morrison & Foerster’s global Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White–Collar Defense Group, focuses his practice on securities litigation, including class actions, shareholder derivative cases, and corporate control litigation, as well as U.S. SEC enforcement proceedings and corporate internal investigations. He also has substantial experience litigating complex commercial cases.
Joel regularly represents public companies and their officers, directors, and board committees in cases before trial and appellate courts throughout the United States, and in mediation to facilitate settlement. He defends clients across a diverse range of industries, and has extensive experience advising non–U.S. companies in connection with securities and compliance issues related to their cross–border and U.S. operations. He also is frequently called upon by boards and senior executives to advise on directors’ and officers’ (D&O) insurance issues.
Joel also has extensive experience litigating religious rights cases, particularly under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). He served as lead trial counsel for the Westchester Day School in its landmark litigation against the Village of Mamaroneck and its Zoning Board of Appeals under RLUIPA, and he successfully defended the USTA in a religious discrimination lawsuit.
As Chairman and President of MATI USA – The Jerusalem Business Development Center, Inc., Joel leads a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eradicate poverty and joblessness in Jerusalem by facilitating entrepreneurship and creating new jobs and businesses.
Securities Class Actions/Individual Cases
- Co–led the defense on behalf of 300 issuers and over 1,000 individual defendants in the “IPO Allocation” securities class actions—perhaps the largest collection of securities class actions ever brought.
- Won dismissal of all claims against Etsy, Inc. and its officers and directors in a shareholder class action in federal court in New York. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal.
- Won dismissal of all claims against the former CEO and CFO of Nortel Networks (Canada) in a shareholder class action in federal court in New York.
- Won dismissal of all claims against Cirrus Logic, Inc. and its officers and directors in a shareholder class action in federal court in New York.
- Won dismissal of all claims against Yahoo! subsidiary Flurry and its CEO in a shareholder case concerning the value of Flurry’s stock (non–public at the time) prior to its acquisition by Yahoo!
- Represented public companies and their officers and directors in shareholder class actions in federal and state courts throughout the country, including Blackberry (Canada), Argus Group (Bermuda), ATC Healthcare, Pharmos Corp. (Israel), Qiao Xing (China), and LJ International (China).
- Represented former Bear Stearns employees in civil securities cases and regulatory matters relating to Bear Stearns’ residential mortgage–backed securities business.
- Represented ResCap LLC in successfully settling billions of dollars of residential mortgage–backed securities claims (and more than two dozen securities cases) as part of ResCap’s bankruptcy proceedings.
- Represented Hong Kong affiliate of a Big Four auditor in defense of claims arising out of a bond offering by a Canadian public company.
- Represented Chinese individuals in insider trading case brought by the SEC alleging trading in the securities of Nexen Inc. while in possession of non–public information about an impending announcement of Nexen’s acquisition by China–based CNOOC Ltd.
Shareholder Derivative Litigation
- Represented public companies and their officers and directors in shareholder derivative cases in federal and state courts throughout the country, including Yahoo!, Capital One, Cirrus Logic, Vringo, Eclipsys, Hospitality Investors Trust, and LJ International.
- Represented Education Realty Trust, Inc. and its board in connection with EdR’s $4.6 billion acquisition by an affiliate of Greystar Real Estate Partners.
- Represented MedEquities and its board in connection with MedEquities’ $600 million acquisition by Omega Healthcare Investors Inc.
- Represented Evercore Group as financial advisor to ExamWorks Group, Inc. in connection with ExamWorks’ $2.2 billion acquisition by an affiliate of private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners.
- Represented Ducera Securities as financial advisor to Monsanto Company in connection with Monsanto’s $66 billion acquisition by Bayer Aktiengesellschaft.
- Represented Astellas Pharma in connection with its $4 billion acquisition of OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Represented Yahoo! in connection with its $270 million acquisition of Interclick, Inc.
- Represented NTT DATA in connection with its $200 million acquisition of Intelligroup, Inc.
RLUPIA/Religious Rights Cases
- Served as lead trial counsel and secured a landmark victory in the S.D.N.Y. on behalf of pro bono client Westchester Day School against the Village of Mamaroneck and its Zoning Board of Appeals for violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) in its denial of the school’s special permit to expand its facilities. Also successfully argued the appeal in the Second Circuit.
- Successfully represented Jewish inmate in Virginia state prison in RLUIPA litigation in the Western District of Virginia, for failing provide the prisoner with kosher food.
- Filed amicus brief in Supreme Court of the United States in Holt v. Hobbs, in support of an Arkansas inmate who was denied the ability to grow a half–inch beard in accordance with his Muslim faith.
- Filed amicus brief in United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Rich v. Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections in support of successful kosher diet litigation against the Florida prison system.
- Successfully defended the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in SDNY litigation relating to the 2014 Eastern Sectional Championships.
- Represented Unilever, Guittard Chocolate, Sun Products, Iovate Health, and Inko’s Tea in consumer class actions alleging deceptive sales and marketing practices.
- Represented Bermuda insurance company in litigation with deferred variable annuity policyholder relating to premium account investment loses.
- Represented Israeli pharmaceutical company in dispute with U.S.–based joint venture partner.
- Represented Australian sunless tanning company in litigation with U.S. competitor.
- Represented real estate brokerage firm in litigation alleging that the firm convinced a client to lease more space than it needed based on assurances that it would find subtenants for the excess space.
- Represented broker–dealer in disputes with competitors over poaching allegations.