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On April 2, about 60 attorneys crammed into what had suddenly become the close confines of Judge Carlos Cortez’s 44th District Court in Dallas County. Some practiced in Dallas and Houston, but others came from as far away as Baltimore, New York City, San Diego, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del., to argue over who among them should be appointed lead counsel representing the plaintiffs — shareholders of TXU Corp. — in two consolidated cases challenging the utility company’s proposed $45 billion sale to two private equity firms.

A week earlier, Cortez had consolidated eight separate class actions into In Re: TXU Corp. Shareholder Litigation and three stockholder derivative suits into In Re: TXU Corp. Derivative Litigation. Though dissimilar in legal theory, plaintiff-shareholders in both consolidated cases presented similar allegations: On Feb. 26, TXU issued a press release announcing that the private equity firms of Texas Pacific Group and Kravis Roberts & Co. had entered into an agreement with TXU to acquire the Dallas-based utility company. All three entities are among the named defendants in the litigation.

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