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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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Chris Lazarini Comments on Standing to Bring Claims and Federal Jurisdictional Issues


December 9, 2015

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini provided comment on a case in which the Plaintiff sued his father's brokerage firm for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the RICO Act. The court dismissed the claim for several reasons, including Plaintiff's lack of standing – since Plaintiff was a future beneficiary of the trust, Plaintiff did not suffer any injury as yet and therefore was ineligible to file suit – and Plaintiff's failure to meet either the federal question or diversity jurisdiction thresholds. Chris provided the analysis for Securities Litigation Commentator (SLC). The full text of the analysis is below and used with permission from the publication. If you would like to receive additional content from the SLC, please visit the SLC website to sign up for the newsletter.

Powell vs. First Allied Securities, Inc., No. 14-13589 (E.D. Mich., 9/28/15) 

*To have standing, a plaintiff must have suffered an actual or imminent injury in fact.
**Merely citing to a federal statute, without factual support, cannot create federal question jurisdiction.
***The amount claimed by a plaintiff usually determines the amount in controversy for diversity jurisdiction, but where it appears to a legal certainty that the claim is really for less than the jurisdictional amount, a diversity claim should be dismissed. 

Seeking to gain control over a portion of his father's trust, pro se Plaintiff sued First Allied, alleging violations of the '34 Act and RICO statute. The Court dismisses the complaint on multiple grounds. First, it finds, as a "future beneficiary" of the trust, Plaintiff has no present possessory interest in the trust assets, has not suffered an injury in fact, and, therefore, lacks standing to bring the claims.

Second, even if standing exists, the Court finds jurisdiction lacking. Federal question jurisdiction does not exist, because Plaintiff failed to allege facts suggesting that First Allied committed securities fraud or violated the RICO statute. The Court also concludes that diversity jurisdiction does not exist, finding the amount in controversy to be less than the $75,000 threshold, after excluding Plaintiff's punitive damage claim (as it deems this case to be a simple contract claim in which punitive damages are not available). Finally, the Court notes that Plaintiff's mother is an indispensable party, whose addition to the case would destroy diversity jurisdiction, even if the amount in controversy threshold were established.

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