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Things are really starting to get interesting in the ongoing securities class action trial in New York against Vivendi Universal and its former CEO and CFO. Throughout the case, Vivendi, represented by Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Weil, Gotshal & Manges, has done everything possible to keep French shareholders out of the class. They haven't been successful so far. As the Litigation Daily recently reported, Vivendi took the extraordinary step of suing French class members in Paris last week to prevent them from participating in the New York case.
The suit didn't go unnoticed by class counsel for the plaintiffs in New York, which includes lawyers from Abbey Spanier Rodd & Abrams; Milberg; and Browne Woods George. In a motion filed Tuesday, they sought an order requiring Vivendi to withdraw the suit. In their motion, the plaintiffs' lawyers chided Vivendi's lawyer in Paris for asserting that the French shareholders were "forum shopping."
"It is richly ironic that Vivendi, in the Paris action, accuses [named French class members] of forum shopping, given that Vivendi has already lost each and every one of those forum issues in this court," they wrote. "On the other hand, it is Vivendi that waited until this trial began to go shopping in Paris ... The real forum shopper in this case is Vivendi."
A Vivendi spokesperson told us that the company had not yet reviewed the motion.
This article first appeared on The Am Law Litigation Daily blog on AmericanLawyer.com.