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Ellen Shapiro

Associate

[email protected]

+1.212.692.6208

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Ellen focuses her practice on securities litigation, including shareholder class actions and opt-outs thereto, and complex commercial litigation. She has experience taking and defending depositions, drafting briefs and other filings, as well as with internal investigations and patent matters. She represents public and private companies in a variety of industries, including life sciences.

Ellen also has an active pro bono practice. To date, she has successfully represented an individual seeking asylum and a Section 8 tenant facing eviction. She has also defended a victim of domestic violence in a civil lawsuit.

Prior to joining Mintz Levin, Ellen was a litigation associate at a leading global law firm’s New York headquarters, where she worked on securities litigation and complex commercial cases, including for Fortune 500 companies.

While attending law school, Ellen was a legal intern for a New York-based civil rights lawyer, focusing on First Amendment matters and other issues. She also served on the executive board and as a submissions editor for the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender and as a primary editor for the Harvard Human Rights Journal.

Education

  • Harvard Law School (JD)
  • Duke University (BA, magna cum laude)

Recent Insights

News & Press

Viewpoints

Viewpoint
Years after Plaintiffs brought a federal securities complaint against Petrobras, and more than a year after the case settled for approximately $3 billion, Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered the unsealing of the majority of documents attached to parties’ summary judgment papers. Cornell University intends to use these documents in an arbitration in Brazil. Not only does Judge Rakoff’s decision come as an important reminder that sealing orders are not intended to last forever, but this decision also demonstrates how a motion to unseal may be used to bypass the traditional requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1782, frequently invoked by entities seeking to use U.S. discovery in foreign proceedings.
Viewpoint
The U.S. Supreme Court denied defendants-appellees’ petition for certiorari in Hagan v. Khoja. As set forth in our prior alert, the executives of the now-defunct biotechnology company, Orexigen, sought review of a Ninth Circuit decision, which not only created a departure from other courts in its narrow-approach to incorporation by reference and judicial notice, but according to the petition, also distinguished itself by being the first Circuit Court of Appeal to find that an issuer owes a duty to update a statement of historical fact that was accurate when made. At issue was whether Orexigen had a duty to disclose data that demonstrated interim results from an obesity drug trial were not as promising as once touted. In opposition to the petition for certiorari, respondent argued, inter alia, that “[e]ven if petitioners were correct . . . that this case implicates whether companies have a duty to update earlier statements of historical fact, the interlocutory posture of this case would make it the worst kind of vehicle for considering that question.”
Viewpoint General
The United States District Court of the District of Connecticut will soon decide whether a putative class member may intervene “for the limited purpose of tolling the statute of repose.” Statutes of repose place an outer limit on when a claim can be brought. For example, claims brought under Sections 11 and 12 of the Securities Act of 1933 are subject to a 3-year statute of repose, 15 U.S.C. § 77m, and claims brought under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are subject to a 5-year statute of repose. 15 U.S.C. § 1658. Less than two-years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court held that unlike statutes of limitations, which may be tolled by the pendency of a class action, statutes of repose cannot be so equitably tolled. CALPERS v. ANZ Securities. Should the District Court deny the motion, the putative class member, who purchased millions of Teva shares during the proposed class period will be time-barred from opting-out of the securities class action at-issue or asserting its own claims should the action be dismissed.
Viewpoint General
Last week, executives of the now-defunct biotechnology company, Orexigen filed a petition for certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking clarification of the duty to update under the federal securities laws. The petition seeks further review of a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit, Khoja v. Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., 899 F.3d 988 (9th Cir. 2018), which not only created a departure from other courts in its narrow-approach to incorporation by reference and judicial notice, but according to Orexigen, also distinguished itself from other Circuit Courts by being the first Circuit Court to find that an issuer owes a duty to update a statement of historical fact that was accurate when made. Specifically, the Ninth Circuit held that “by touting and publishing the ‘surprisingly’ positive 25 percent interim results [of the drug at-issue’s ability to decrease cardiovascular events], Orexigen created its own obligation to report that those results did not pan out after all” as evidenced by the 50 percent interim results.
Viewpoint General
In 2017, courts across this country were split on whether plaintiffs could assert a class action alleging claims under the Securities Act of 1933 (which provides a private right of action against issuers and others for providing false or misleading statements in offering materials) in state court. While California state courts recognized such jurisdiction, in New York, similar suits were routinely removed to federal court. In the midst of this jurisdictional uncertainty and prior to launching their respective initial public offerings, Blue Apron Holdings, Roku Inc., and Stitch Fix, Inc. adopted charter-based Federal Forum Provisions, in an attempt to make federal district courts the exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting claims arising under the Securities Act.
Viewpoint General

Judge Rakoff Highlights the Financial Risk to Objectors of Class Settlements

October 23, 2018 | | By Joel Rothman, Ellen Shapiro, Kevin Mortimer, Alain Mathieu

On August 15, 2018, Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York awarded an objector to the Petrobras class settlement nearly $12,000 in attorneys’ fees (click here for the Order).  The objector had asked the Court for almost $200,000 to cover 231.7 hours of legal work. Approximately one month later, Judge Rakoff sanctioned another objector to the Petrobas class settlement (click here for the Order). In the September Order, Judge Rakoff issued a grave warning to future objectors and reminded counsel that it is the Court’s duty to “safeguard the ability of objectors to protect class members from abusive settlements while in turn protect[] class members from being abused by the objectors themselves.
Viewpoint General

U.S. District Court Holds that Certain Claims by Opt-Out Plaintiffs Are Barred by the Statute of Repose

October 10, 2018 | Blog | By Joel Rothman, Kevin Mortimer, Ellen Shapiro, Alain Mathieu

In a recent ruling in In re: BP p.l.c. Securities Litigation the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas dismissed claims asserted by opt-out plaintiffs as time barred by the Exchange Act’s statute of repose pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in ANZ Securities. This decision underscores that institutional investors should closely monitor the statutes of limitation and repose applicable to securities fraud claims to ensure they are not later barred from recovery.
Viewpoint General
As we previously noted in this post, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the Volkswagen Bondholder Plaintiff’s first amended complaint, with leave to amend, holding that it could not rely on the Affiliated Ute or Basic presumptions to plead reliance, and that it had not sufficiently pleaded direct reliance. On April 2, 2018, the Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Bondholder’s Class Action complaint (SAC), which added allegations: (1) of direct reliance, (2) that the bonds at issue were priced and traded on an efficient market, (3) that the defendants’ alleged fraud created the market, and (4) that Volkswagen committed fraud on the regulatory process. On September 7, 2018, the court denied the defendants motion to dismiss, and ruled that that the case may proceed to discovery, but also expressed concerns about the Plaintiffs’ ability to certify a class.
Viewpoint General
In Khoja v. Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., the Ninth Circuit clarified the “rare circumstances” when a court may review documents extraneous to the pleadings in ruling on a motion to dismiss. Given that it has become routine for securities defendants to attach numerous documents to motions to dismiss, this decision has the potential make it easier for plaintiffs to survive a motion to dismiss. Over the next several months, it will be interesting to see whether this decision survives the defendants’ petition for en banc review, and if so, whether courts outside the Ninth Circuit follow this decision to curtail the use of extraneous documents in deciding motions to dismiss.

News & Press

This New York Law Journal outside analysis column discusses the rapidly growing cryptocurrency space and how multiple federal and state agencies are trying to regulate these evolving markets. The column is authored by Mintz Members David Siegal and Jason Halperin. Associates Ellen Shapiro and Matthew Novian assisted in the preparation of this column.