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T he 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments in a case that could define the limits of a judge’s discretion in determining which lawyers will run lucrative securities fraud class actions.

Last week, the court ordered that In re Copper Mountain Networks Securities Litigation, 01-70772, be heard the week of Feb. 11. The appeal challenges whether the presumption that the plaintiffs with the largest losses in a case should run the litigation can be rejected by a judge who does not like their fee agreement with their lawyer.

In deciding the case, the 9th Circuit could dictate the standards for the “rebuttable presumption” outlined in 1995′s Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.

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