SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Friday selected the firms LTL Attorneys and Hung G. Ta, Esq. to lead a group of groundbreaking securities class actions over digital tokens against the blockchain startup Tezos.
U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California ruled that the attorneys met the requirements to lead the suits under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA)—including that their client has the largest financial stake in the case. Their client is Arman Anvari, a former Perkins Coie associate in Chicago who says he poured $264,007.50 worth of ether into Tezos.
Three other groups of law firms had vied to lead the class actions, including the firms Block & Leviton, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd and Levi & Korsinsky. Attorneys from those firms on Thursday had argued that Anvari’s lawyers should not lead the case because they initially filed their motion to do so in the wrong docket, a day late.
But Seeborg said those missteps were not sufficient to take them out of the running. “Under the circumstances, Anvari’s filing [...] appears best understood as a mistake made in good faith rather than as an act of legal gamesmanship of the sort the PSLRA was designed to prevent,” he wrote.
The entities behind the Tezos project raised some $232 million in cryptocurrency last year in an initial coin offering but have still yet to launch the promised blockchain network. The class actions that were filed last fall argue that the “Tezzies” issued were unregistered securities, and seek to allow investors to have their cryptocurrency refunded.