It may be that Bank of America caught a break in April when the enormous securities class action challenging the bank’s disclosures in advance of its merger with Merrill Lynch was transferred from Manhattan federal district court Judge Denny Chin (who is now on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals) to Judge Kevin Castel — and not, as we noted at the time, to Judge Jed Rakoff, who had made life hell for the bank in its attempt to resolve the Securities and Exchange Commission’s suit over the Merrill deal.

But Castel has turned out to be no pushover for the bank’s arguments. Far from it. On Friday, in a comprehensive 140-page decision, he green-lighted key claims by Bank of America shareholders in a securities class action and a companion derivative suit.

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