Every once in a while we’re reminded that winning a motion to dismiss doesn’t mean you’ve won the case. Just ask Dell’s lawyers at Jones Day and Yetter, Warden & Coleman. A month after asking the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the dismissal of a 2007 securities class action, Dell agreed to settle the case for $40 million. [Hat tip to Kevin LaCroix at The D&O Diary.]

The timing of the settlement, as LaCroix notes, raises obvious questions about how Dell thought the 5th Circuit would rule — and based on what the shareholders’ lawyers told us about oral arguments, Dell had good reason to worry the case would be revived.