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Are Enron’s banks liable to Enron’s shareholders? A federal appeals court recently held that they are not. Its ruling has important implications for other banks, lawyers and accountants potentially facing lawsuits over so-called scheme liability, and the Supreme Court will, no doubt, consider the case’s reasoning when it soon addresses the issue.

In its March 19 decision in Regents of the University of California v. Credit Suisse First Boston (USA) Inc., the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the class-certification decision in securities-fraud litigation against financial institutions that allegedly actively participated in a “scheme” to defraud shareholders of Enron Corp.

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