Weighing what has been billed as the securities fraud case of the decade, the Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed poised to slam the door shut on investor class actions aimed at deep-pocket third-party defendants such as accountants, lawyers and bankers.

The fast-paced, hourlong oral arguments in Stoneridge Investment Partners v. Scientific-Atlanta and Motorola played out before a Supreme Court chamber packed with spectators, including Enron plaintiffs, who have a big stake in the outcome of the case.

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