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In June 2016, AmSurg Corp. and Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (Envision) announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which the companies will combine in an all-stock transaction. Upon completion of the merger, which is expected to be tax-free to the shareholders of both organizations, the combined company will be named Envision Healthcare Corporation and co-headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and Greenwood Village, Colorado. The company's common stock is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol: EVHC. Bass, Berry & Sims served as lead counsel on the transaction, led by Jim Jenkins. Read more.

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Inside the FCA blogInside the FCA blog features ongoing updates related to the False Claims Act (FCA), including insight on the latest legal decisions, regulatory developments and FCA settlements. The blog provides timely updates for corporate boards, directors, compliance managers, general counsel and other parties interested in the organizational impact and legal developments stemming from issues potentially giving rise to FCA liability.

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Sixth Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Fraud Class Action Suit Against Morgan Keegan & Co.

September 12, 2011

Significant Win for Memphis Broker-Dealer Provides Decisive Guidance on the Preclusive Reach of the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act

Memphis, Tenn., (September 12, 2011) - On September 8, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of Morgan Keegan & Co., a Memphis, Tennessee-based financial services firm, upholding the dismissal of a class action fraud suit brought by a group of mutual fund investors, who claimed their investments lost value in the wake of the 2007 financial crisis.

In a decision that will have a wide-reaching impact on federal/state jurisdictional issues in securities litigation generally and the mutual fund industry in particular, the appellate court agreed that the Securities Litigation Uniform Standard Act of 1998 (SLUSA) barred all state law claims asserted by the investors. "The Sixth Circuit's opinion will make it much more difficult for plaintiffs hoping to avoid federal jurisdiction in class actions alleging securities fraud," said Matthew M. Curley, a member at Bass, Berry & Sims who represented Morgan Keegan in this matter.

The Sixth Circuit upheld the 2009 decision by Judge Samuel H. Mays of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, which dismissed with prejudice all claims in the case, including the investors' claims for fraud, negligence and breach of contract.

The plaintiffs argued that SLUSA did not apply based on an exception in the statute called the "Delaware carve-out." The Sixth Circuit disagreed, holding that the exception could not save the plaintiffs’ claims from dismissal. Not until this case has any district court or appellate court considered whether claims asserted on behalf of holders of mutual funds fit within the Delaware carve-out exception to SLUSA.

"We are certainly pleased with the Sixth Circuit's opinion affirming the dismissal of this action with prejudice," said Bass, Berry & Sims' Curley. "It provides important guidance on the broad scope of SLUSA's preclusive reach and how narrowly its Delaware carve-out should be interpreted."

The appellate court also rejected the plaintiffs' argument that nine of their 13 claims in the suit were not precluded by SLUSA because they were not pleaded as fraud claims. Again, the Sixth Circuit disagreed, finding that "[b]ecause all of plaintiffs' claims include allegations of fraud, SLUSA damns each one."

The appeal is styled Atkinson v. Morgan Asset Management Inc., No. 09-6265, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Morgan Keegan & Co. was represented by Matthew M. Curley of Bass Berry & Sims PLC. Regions Bank was represented by David Bruce Tulchin of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and PricewaterhouseCoopers was represented by Timothy A. Duffy of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. The plaintiffs were represented by Vernon Jay Vander Weide of Head Seifert & Vander Weide PA and Jerome A. Broadhurst of Apperson, Crump & Maxwell, PLC.

About Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
With more than 200 attorneys representing numerous publicly traded companies and Fortune 500 businesses, Bass, Berry & Sims PLC has been involved in some of the largest and most significant litigation matters and business transactions in the country. For more information, visit www.bassberry.com.


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